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  • Published: 1 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446413821
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

April Blood

'Wonderfully readable-has the ingredients of a Mafia thriller' Daily Telegraph

In April 1478, a plot to murder the two heads of the powerful Medici family miscarried dramatically in the cathedral of Florence. The younger of the two brothers was killed, but Lorenzo the Magnificent, the brilliant poet and connoisseur escaped. A bloodbath followed in reprisal. All Italy was at once affected, as it emerged that the Pope, the King of Naples, and the Duke of Urbino were deeply implicated in the plot, and that binding treaties required Milan and Venice to assist Florence. A tangle of Florentine interests now came to light, revealing a dangerous archbishop, a cosseted papal nephew, and the Pazzi- an ambitious family of bankers with lofty connections abroad. The Pazzi were the foremost social and financial rivals of the Medici, but they were forced- like all other leading families in Florence- to pay political obeisance to them, in a play of attitudes that was stifling public discussion and subverting the Florentine republic. Against the high abstract shadows of power politics and the menace to political debate, the Pazzi Conspiracy was driven by bankers, priests, politicians, and mercenaries, caught up in a tangle of passion and armed violence.

  • Published: 1 January 2011
  • ISBN: 9781446413821
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the author

Lauro Martines

One of the world's foremost authorities on the Italian Renaissance, Lauro Martines was born in Chicago, has a Ph. D from Harvard University, but has lived in London since 1970. He was Professor of European History at the University of California. He and his wife, the novelist Julia O'Faolain, lived for some years in Florence. His books include Lawyers and Statecraft in Renaissance Florence, Power and Imagination: City States in Renaissance Italy, Society and History in English Renaissance Verse, An Italian Renaissance Sextet: Six Tales in Historical Context, Strong Words: Writing and Social Strain in the Italian Renaissance, and April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici.

Praise for April Blood

A spine-chilling political drama of conspiracy, murder and bloody revenge.

The Times

A riveting tale in which we can recognise analogies with our own world.

Financial Times

Sheds light on the whole apparatus of political powering Renaissance Florence.



Times Literary Supplement

Elegant and incisive...a masterful reconstruction

Sunday Times

Can be read at the level of political treatise, cultural overview or sheer adventure story.

Literary Review

This is an outstanding book, rich in its insights, and written with verve and style...In a piece of bold craftsmanship, the author launches his narrative of the battle, then spools back to explore the psychological and cultural journey that brought France from her nadir in 1815, following the defeat of Napoleon, to her life-and-death struggle in the killing fields if Lorraine 101 years later.

Malcolm Brown, Guardian

This is a book as careful to touch its readers' emotions as it is to deepen their understanding.

Robert Tombs, Times Literary Supplement

It is a story that still has the power to shock and horrify...consistently intelligent and readable...an engaging and important book.

Hew Strachan, Sunday Times

Brilliantly told...magnificent...Piercing insight, controversial political analysis...telling character portrayal, historical and military study and individual human tragedy is all skilfully knit together in one seamless whole...a masterpiece.

Nigel Jones, BBC History

Wonderfully readable...has the ingredients of a Mafia thriller.

Daily Telegraph

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