Tina Jordan
April 07, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Murder of a Medici Princess

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Caroline P. Murphy
publisher
Oxford University Press
genre
History, Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

Caroline P. Murphy illuminates the splendor of the Italian Renaissance through the short life of Isabella de Medici, daughter of Duke Cosimo I, ruler of Tuscany and Florence in Murder of a Medici Princess. The beautiful, lusty Isabella, lover of balls and parties, scandalized the Florentine court with her many affairs (especially one with her husband’s cousin). When the duke died in 1574, his priggish son Francesco — long outraged by his sister’s promiscuity — first cut off her inheritance, then granted her husband permission to murder her. Based on primary documents, including Isabella’s letters, Murphy’s book swoops and dazzles like the best fiction. A

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