The Italian Renaissance

  • by J.H. Plumb
  • Narrated by Charlton Griffin
  • 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In all of human history there has never been an era as richly endowed with human creativity as the Italian Renaissance. When the economic boom of the Late Middle Ages had allowed a flourishing and wealthy merchant class to emerge, a plethora of artists, sculptors, architects, and thinkers followed in their wake. In an astonishingly short period of time, Italy was transformed mentally, physically, and spiritually. Powerful commercial centers like Florence, Venice, and Milan became independent. Artists like Michaelangelo and Cellini threw off the customs of the past and forged new symbols of Man, while others, like the gentle aristocrat Baldassare Castiglione, were attempting to civilize the behavior of society with gentlemanly manners. From north to south, Italian cities were literally reborn with an energy and enthusiasm that has never repeated itself anywhere.This great historical essay tells you why this extraordinary event occurred and why it finally died out, though its effects lasted hundreds of years. Ironically, all the great pomp and splendor of the Italian Renaissance was accompanied by some of the worst violence and mayhem that Italy has ever experienced. In the midst of splendor unheard of, men murdered, stole, raped, lied, and cuckolded friend and foe. Horrible torture, brutal war, and poisonous political intrigue went hand in hand with the most sumptuous artistic and literary output in European history. Follow this incredible story to understand the Italian Renaissance in ways you never conceived.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A truly pleasurable experience

This little "essay" (to use the same description Jacob Burckhardt used for his work, "The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy") is a brief, but wonderful introduction to the Italian Renaissance. Adding to the pleasure of this short book are the rich, sonorous tones of Charlton Griffin as the narrator and the brief introductory musical selections used to set the mood. If you love history of the Renaissance narrated by one of the truly great readers of our time, this is a must have selection.
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- DEW

Charlton Griffin does it again.

I would have never finished this book in print. But Mr. Griffin's audio version was fascinating. My next listen to it will be in Venice and Florence with an iPod in my pocket and earphones in my ear while sipping an espresso in one of them piazzas. Can't wait.
Anthony Pour, CA
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-26-2004
  • Publisher: Audio Connoisseur