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Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions That Forged Modern Europe

John Julius Norwich

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Atlantic Monthly Press
11 April 2017
Biography: general; History; European history
John Julius Norwich-- the very model of a popular historian (Wall Street Journal)--is acclaimed for his distinctive ability to weave together a fascinating narrative through vivid detail, colorful anecdotes, and captivating characters. Here, he has crafted a bold tapestry of Europe and the Middle East in the early sixteenth century, when four legendary rulers towered over the era. 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 industrious man of the time, and was unanimously elected Holy Roman Emperor. Suleiman the Magnificent--who stood apart as a Muslim--brought the Ottoman Empire to its apogee of political, military, and economic power.

Against the vibrant background of the Renaissance, these four men collectively shaped the culture, religion, and politics of their respective domains. With remarkable erudition, John Julius Norwich delves into this entertaining and layered history, indelibly depicting four dynamic characters and how their incredible achievements--and obsessions with one another--changed European history.
By:   John Julius Norwich
Imprint:   Atlantic Monthly Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 231mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   522g
ISBN:   9780802126634
ISBN 10:   0802126634
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   11 April 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

John Julius Norwich is the author of many publications, including A History of Venice and Byzantium, as well as the New York Times bestseller Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy and most recently, Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History.

Reviews for Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions That Forged Modern Europe

Praise for FOUR PRINCES -In prolific historian Norwich's well-articulated appraisal, these four giant figures can, and should be, perceived as a 'single phenomenon' that deeply imprinted sixteenth-century Europe. Through Norwich's perceptive eyes, we see that the four monarchs certainly did not exist in a vacuum, that each one was not a completely separate entity . . . A superb group portrait.- --Booklist -A fascinating quadruple biography of four of the greatest monarchs of the Renaissance by this true master of narrative history.- --Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Romanovs and Jerusalem: The Biography -As we have come to expect from John Julius Norwich, Four Princes is filled with surprising details about these familiar figures, as well as revealing insights into the seminal events of this rich period. But the great value of the book is putting Suleiman the Magnificent on an equal plain with Henry VIII, Francis I, and Charles V, and thereby, providing an expanded view of Europe during this turbulent era, a better understanding of the clashes between their empires, and the personal aspirations and foibles of these giants that shaped the continent's history.- --James Reston, Jr., author of Defenders of the Faith: Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent, and the Battle for Europe, 1520-1536 -With characteristic deftness of touch, Norwich brings each character vividly to life and skillfully weaves their stories together . . . a genuinely inspired idea for a book, and Norwich executes it with typical aplomb.- --Tracy Borman, BBC History Magazine -Wonderful . . . This was indeed a glorious age and Norwich has made a brilliant decision to study four idiosyncratic rulers as an interacting quartet . . . A lively and charming book.- --Times (UK)

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