The House of Medici

  • by Christopher Hibbert
  • Narrated by Michael Page
  • 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

At its height, Renaissance Florence was a center of enormous wealth, power, and influence. A republican city-state funded by trade and banking, its often bloody political scene was dominated by rich mercantile families, the most famous of which were the Medici. This enthralling book charts the family's huge influence on the political, economic, and cultural history of Florence. Beginning in the early 1430s with the rise of the dynasty under the near-legendary Cosimo de Medici, it moves through their golden era as patrons of some of the most remarkable artists and architects of the Renaissance, to the era of the Medici Popes and Grand Dukes, Florence's slide into decay and bankruptcy, and the end, in 1737, of the Medici line.

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What the Critics Say

"A superb introduction to the history and arts created by one man's greed." (Books for Breakfast)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Laundry list of names

Would you try another book from Christopher Hibbert and/or Michael Page?

I was interested in learning more about the Medicis so this seemed to be a good choice. It would no doubt have been better as an actual book but as an audio book, the endless list of people involved in every part of the book made it difficult to follow the "plot" - to get the bigger picture of the history. It just seemed like an encyclopedic listing of all the family members and their neighbors. I did make it about 90% of the way through but ultimately couldn't finish it. All that said, I did get a general sense of the history of the family. I probably wouldn't buy another book from this author though. Michael Page's narration was fine - seemed like authentic Italian pronunciation of the many, many names and titles.


What was most disappointing about Christopher Hibbert’s story?

It was boring.


What do you think the narrator could have done better?

No problems with the narrator.


What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Frustration and disappointment


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- Elizabeth W

Dry and unimaginative history

The best authors make history come alive, and this book did NOT do such a thing. The story was a depressingly dry litany of names and places, with no elaboration of otherwise exciting events. I was told this was a good history of Florence, but if I wanted an unimaginative year-by-year account of the Medici years, I could have bought a text book. I expected Hibbert to make this interesting, and he did not. Indicative of such unimaginative history was his brief description of two separate coup attempts against the Medici, events that were fraught with emotion and danger, but which Hibbert relates with no more captivating prose than he uses to describe every day events. This was the first book I disliked enough to return.
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- Nicholas

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-18-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio