Machiavelli by Joseph Markulin is a fascinating novel of the life and times of Niccolo Machiavelli.
Starting from his childhood and education in Florence, it moves on to the dramatic era of the Borgia’s and the Medici’s in Rome and Florence. Constant war between these families, the cities of Italy, and with France dominated Machiavelli’s life and formed his attitude to politics and life in general. His work for the Florentine government involved much travel, and the conflicts much trouble including imprisonment and torture. Another influence on Machiavelli’s life was Savonarola, the religious zealot and martyr and a republican. His ideals became part of Machiavelli’s political dreams.
The author is a professor of Italian literature specialising in Renaissance studies and, drawing on his knowledge, he gives a great feel for the Renaissance life and times. Among the people Machiavelli meets in the book are Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, as well as the everyday people who are brought to life by this extremely well-written novel.