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An extraordinarily detailed account of the daily life and political ambitions of a Renaissance potentate, drawn from a hitherto unpublished archive of original documents. A tale of gambling, hunting, family feuds, power agendas and private conflict in Renaissance Italy. Son of Lucretia Borgia and brother of the Duke of Ferrara, Ippolito d'Este became Archbishop of Milan at the age of 9 but had to wait another twenty years before he acquired his coveted cardinal's hat. This honour was the route to power and wealth in sixteenth-century Europe - it had little to do with piety. Ippolito was no devout cleric: he enjoyed gambling, hunting, tennis and women. This is the story of the five years it took to achieve his ambition, a story involving family squabbles and private feuds, and the political agendas of the Pope, the Emperor and the King of France. Ippolito spent much of this period at the French court, sampling the sophistication of Paris, the luxuries of Fontainebleau, the pleasures of hunting in the Loire valley, the excitement of battle in Picardy, the glamour of an international peace conference at Nice, and the extreme discomforts of mountain travel. The Cardinal's Hat is based entirely on the account books and letters preserved in the archives at Modena, through which Ippolito emerges across the centuries with remarkable clarity. The documents also provide glimpses into the lives of ordinary people, not just his cooks and stable boys, but shopkeepers, builders, bargemen, peasants and even beggars. Above all, they provide a unique insight into life in sixteenth-century Europe.
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A book as rich and quirky as the Renaissance itself (David Starkey)
Beautifully judged and deeply researched (Charles Nicholl Sunday Times)
A fascinating book; not just for the details, but for the skill with which Hollingsworth interprets them (Jane Stevenson Observer)
As Mary Hollingsworth shows in this brilliant piece of historical detective work and narrative reconstruction, no one schmoozed the great and the good of 16th-century Europe with quite such élan as Ippolito d'Este. (Kathryn Hughes Guardian)
Mary Hollingsworth has succeeded in producing a riveting narrative full of characters otherwise forgotten by history. (History Today)
Exceptionally interesting ... Hollingsworth's narrative is seamless and her prose agreeable. (Jonathan Yardley Washington Post)
Second son of Lucretia Borgia, Ippolito d'Este loved gambling, hunting, tennis and women. He became Archbishop of Milan at the age of 9 ...But he had to wait another twenty years before he acquired his coveted cardinal's hat, the route to wealth and power in sixteenth-century Europe. This is his story. But it is also the story of his gardeners, carpenters, ceiling decorators, book-keeper, valet and doctor, the Master of his Wardrobe, his courtiers, squires, pages, cooks, stable boys and many other staff, and of their families. Based on the stunning discovery of Ippolito's household account books at Modena, The Cardinal's Hat does for Renaissance Italy what Liza Picard did for Restoration London.
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Book Description Profile Books Ltd, 2005. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1861977700