Originally published in 1970, this book offered a fresh look at the triumph and turmoil of the Renaissance by examining the lives and power of the princes of Italy, who ruled the many independent states and who dominated the society which nurtured the Renaissance painters, sculptors, writers and architects. The book discusses their magnificence, deceit and cruelty, their cultivation and moral corruption and includes specific chapters on Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, Ercole d’Este, Pope Julius II and Sigismondo Malatesta.
Introduction. 1. The Beginning of the End 2. Princes, Potentates and Powers 3. Alfonso the Magnanimous 4. Ferrante, King of Villains 5. The Fall of the House of Aragon 6. The Man Whom Fortune Loved 7. Acts of madness and Things that Cannot Be Written 8. The Lady of Forli 9. A Prince of Very Rare Perfection 10. The Gonzagas of Mantua 11. Francesco and Isabella 12. The Este of Ferrara 13. The Craft and Piety of Duke Ercole 14. The Enemy of Three Popes 15. The Good Dukes of Urbino: Federigo, Guidobldo 16. The Evilheads of Rimini 17. The Prince of All Wickedness 18. Roberto the Magnificent 19. The High and Mighty Baglioni 20. The Great Betrayal 21. Driven by Destiny 22. The Sons of Gianpaolo 23. The Renaissance Papacy 24. The Founding Uncle 25. The Terrible pope 26. Let the World Perish Provided I Obtain My Wish