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September 1, 2008 / schulerbooks

Review: The Montefeltro Conspiracy

by Marcello Simonetta

(Doubleday)

History buffs, art connoisseurs and conspiracy theorists alike will find fodder for thought in this new examination of the political machinations of renaissance Italy. Author Simonetta focuses in on the Pazzi Conspiracy – the infamous attack on the Medici brothers in the Duomo of Florence, long assumed to be an attempted coup by the Medici’s banking rivals the Pazzi family. But with the discovery of an encoded letter and a codebook written by Simonetta’s own ancestor, the author teases out a conspiracy that leads to a power play by the Vatican and Pope Sixtus IV.

Illustrated with portraiture, sculptures and illustrations from this highly respected artistic period, Simonetta draws a detailed picture of renaissance life, as well as the deeper repercussions of the inner political workings that set the stage for the ascension of Lorenzo Medici to the title of Lorenzo the Magnificent, largely hidden until now.

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