Murphy brings to life not only a remarkable woman, but also the intrigue, the splendour and the violence of the Medici court during the reigns of Cosimo I and Francesco I. Isabella de' Medici was the favourite daughter of Cosimo I, ruler of Florence and Tuscany. Cosimo sincerely loved his daughter and, as long as he was alive, he granted her every wish and gave her a freedom which was unusual for women of her time: he permitted her to live separated from her despised husband, Paolo Orsini. Isabella had her own court and enjoyed life as the first lady in Florence, admired by all.
Description: In Murder of the Medici Princess, Caroline Murphy illuminates the brilliant life and tragic death of Isabella de Medici, one of the brightest stars in the dazzling world of Renaissance Italy, the daughter of Duke Cosimo I, ruler of Florence and Tuscany. Murphy resurrects the exciting atmosphere of Renaissance Florence, weaving Isabella's beloved city into her story, evoking the intellectual and artistic community that thrived during her time. Murphy illuminates this often misunderstood figure, and in the process brings to life the home of creativity, the city of Florence itself.
The first bunch, Cosimo the Elder and Lorenzo the Magnificent, well known in the 15th century as the famous banking family and patron of Michaelangelo, are familiar to almost everyone as leaders of Florence. Isabella's line, also from a famous Cosimo, who became the first Duke of Florence, came later, in the 16th century. Cosimo also kept Isabella in Florence with him instead of sending her to Rome with her husband.
Murphys insightful foray into the life and times of Isabella de Medici goes a long way toward illuminating how this came to be.
This book is more than a story of Isabella's murder, in fact, very few pages are devoted to the actual murder. We come to appreciate Cosimo Medici, who rebuilt his family dynasty through politics and strategic marriages.
I really love well done biographies, and this was so well researched and written in short, very readable chapters.
But my brother, Francesco I, looks like a monster, so it seems fair. I honestly don't think dad ever did that. As for myself and my cousin Lenora, some people like to think of us as the Paris & Nicky Hilton, or the Kardashians of our age. Since I'm back, I'd like to take the opportunity to rethink the way Lenora and I fit in this world. The 21st century seems far from perfect, yet it also seems filled with far more possibilities than the world I knew. Murphy's elegantly detailed book reminds me of the life I once lived. I think her book offers a wonderful opportunity to understand my own past.
"Murder of a Medici Princess," despite its teasing title, is not a murder mystery, but is an excellent biography of Isabella de Medici, the much adored daughter of Grand Duke Cosimo de Medici, the most powerful Medici ruler in that family's long history. Murphy doesn't give away the answer easily and instead skillfully unravels the Medici family cloak-and-dagger ways to explain the mystery. Murphy is at her best when depicting the Medici family squabbles, plots, and in-fighting. While Isabella wasn't the heroine Murphy may wish her to be, "Murder of a Medici Princess" was an excellent piece of historical writing that is as page turning as any modern thriller.
Murphy, details the remarkable life of Isabella de Medici, the 16th-Century "princess" daughter of Duke Cosimo I of Florence.
The story the book tells is, of course, very interesting, and is a good portrayal of a unique woman who bucked the conventions of her time. Renaissance Italy was a fascinating place, and the status of women portrayed in this book is a lovely way to look at it. The men in this book mostly end up looking like villians, especially Francesco the brother and Isabella's weak husband Paolo Giordano.