(Faber & Faber, Feb 3, 2011) For history buffs the dramatic story of Isabella de’ Medici is a must-read. The biography is meticulously researched, well illustrated and annotated, and filled with intriguing details of lifestyles, romance, war and politics in 16th century Florence, where Isabella lived. Beautiful, intelligent Isabella had:
“…a particular kind of independence that would give [her] all the protection of a married woman, combined with the kind of freedom from spousal authority experienced by few women of her day.” (p.68)
An exception to the rule, she avoided living with the man she was married to at only eleven, and became independently wealthy, famous and influential, flouting societal norms. Eventually murdered by her husband, she was a liberated woman centuries ahead of her time.