"Bad behavior makes for entertaining history" in this bold history of Europe, the Middle East, and the men who ruled them in the early sixteenth century (Kirkus Reviews). John Julius Norwich-"the very model of a popular historian"-is acclaimed for his distinctive ability to weave together a fascinating narrative through vivid detail, colorful anecdotes, and captivating characters. Here, he explores four leaders-Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, and Suleiman-who led their countries during the Renaissance (The Wall Street Journal). Francis I of France was the personification of the Renaissance, and a highly influential patron of the arts and education. Henry VIII, who was not expected to inherit the throne but embraced the role with gusto, broke with the Roman Catholic Church and appointed himself head of the Church of England. Charles V was the most powerful man of the time, and unanimously elected Holy Roman Emperor. And Suleiman the Magnificent-who stood apart as a Muslim-brought the Ottoman Empire to its apogee of political, military, and economic power. These men collectively shaped the culture, religion, and politics of their respective domains. With remarkable erudition, John Julius Norwich offers "an important history, masterfully written," indelibly depicting four dynamic characters and how their incredible achievements-and obsessions with one another-changed Europe forever (The Washington Times).
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by John Julius Norwich
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