The Black Prince of Florence

The Black Prince of Florence

The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici

Summary

‘A spectacular, elegant, brilliant portrait of skulduggery, murder and sex in Renaissance Florence’ Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard, Books of the Year

1531 – after years of brutal war and political intrigue, the bastard son of a Medici Duke and a ‘half-negro’ maidservant rides into Florence. Within a year, he rules the city as its Prince. Backed by the Pope and his future father-in-law the Holy Roman Emperor, the nineteen-year-old Alessandro faces down bloody family rivalry and the scheming hostility of Italy’s oligarchs to reassert the Medicis’ faltering grip on the turbulent city-state. Six years later, as he awaits an adulterous liaison, he will be murdered by his cousin in another man’s bed.

‘Nothing in sixteenth-century history is more astonishing’ Hilary Mantel

Reviews

  • A spectacular, elegant, brilliant portrait of skulduggery, murder and sex in Renaissance Florence
    Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard, Books of the Year

About the author

Catherine Fletcher

Catherine Fletcher is a historian of Renaissance and early modern Europe and the author of three previous books, including most recently The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance, which was a Book of the Year (2020) in The Times. Catherine is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University and broadcasts regularly for the BBC.
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