'The Medici' accompanies the 4-part BBC series. It is a dazzling history of the modest family that rose to become one of the most powerful in Europe and who funded some of the most important developments of the Renaissance. A remarkably modern story of power, money, and ambition.
The book explores the intensely dramatic rise and fall of the Medici family in Florence, as well as the Italian Renaissance which they did so much to sponsor and encourage. Interwoven into the narrative are the lives of many of the great Renaissance artists with whom the Medici had dealings - including the likes of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello - together with scientists such as Galileo and philosophers such as Pico della Mirandola - both of whom clashed with the religious authorities.
The book also follows the fortunes of those members of the Medici family who achieved success away from Florence, including the two Medici popes and Catherine de' Medici who became Queen of France and played a major role in that country through three turbulent reigns.
Vivid and accessible, the book ends by describing the gloriously decadent decline of the Medici family in Florence as they strove to be recognised as European princes.