Catherine Fletcher will launch her book The Black Prince of Florence: The Spectacular Life and Treacherous World of Alessandro de’ Medici, published by Bodley Head, on Thursday 28th April. Catherine will be discussing her book at the event, and there will be an opportunity to purchase signed copies of her work.

Thursday 28th April 2016


John Smith’s Book Shop | Taliesin Arts Centre | Swansea University

Black Prince of Florence 1

About The Black Prince of Florence: Between 1531 and 1537, Alessandro’s reign as prince of Florence was as magnificently colourful as it was short. The bastard son of a Medici duke and a ‘half-Negro’ maidservant, he was propelled to power at the age of only nineteen after the grandest dynasty of the Italian Renaissance lost its last legitimate heir. Betrothed to the daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor, he faced down bloody family rivalry and enormous hostility from Florence’s oligarchs, who called him a womaniser and tyrant. Yet this real-life counterpart to Machiavelli’s Prince kept his grip on power until he was assassinated during a late-night assignation by his scheming cousin. From dazzling palaces and Tuscan villas to the treacherous backstreets of Florence and the corridors of papal power, this dramatic biography draws on extensive archival research to overturn our perceptions both of the history of race and of the Italian Renaissance.

About the Author: Catherine Fletcher is a historian of Renaissance and early modern Europe. Her first book, The Divorce of Henry VIII, brought to life the world of the Papal court at the time of the Tudors. Subsequently, Catherine worked with the set team on the BBC’s adaptation of Wolf Hall, advising the production on the historical detail of religious ceremony, dress and furnishings. She broadcasts frequently for BBC Radio 4 on Italian Renaissance history and is currently a BBC New Generation Thinker. Catherine now holds the position of Associate Professor in History and Heritage at Swansea University, has previously held fellowships at the British School at Rome and the European University Institute, and has taught at Royal Holloway, Durham and Sheffield universities.

For more information:

This is a free event and everyone is welcome

Refreshments will be served at 1pm

Enquiries to: Caroline Lane (Arts Engagement Officer, Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH), Swansea University)‌