The Merchant of Prato

The Merchant of Prato : Daily Life in a Medieval Italian City

3.91 (247 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

This extraordinary re-creation of the life of a medieval Italian merchant, Francesco di Marco Datini, is one of the greatest historical portraits written in the twentieth century.

Drawing on an astonishing cache of letters unearthed centuries after Datini's death, it reveals to us a shrewd, enterprising, anxious man, as he makes deals, furnishes his sumptuous house, buys silks for his outspoken young wife and broods on his legacy. It is an unequalled source of knowledge about the texture of daily life in the small, earthy, violent, striving world of fourteenth-century Tuscany.

'Datini has now probably become most intimately accessible figure of the later Middle Ages ... brilliant and intricate' The Times

'As a picture of Tuscany before the dawn of the Renaissance it is a complement to The Decameron' Sunday Times
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Penguin Modern Classics

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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22mm | 292g
  • Penguin Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 9780241293928
  • 164,386

Review Text

Francesco di Marco Datini, the fourteenth-century Tuscan merchant who forms the subject of Origo's brilliant study, has now probably become the most intimately accessible figures of the later Middle Ages ... paints, in brilliant and intricate detail, a picture of Italian domestic life on the eve of the Renaissance The Times
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Review quote

Francesco di Marco Datini, the fourteenth-century Tuscan merchant who forms the subject of Origo's brilliant study, has now probably become the most intimately accessible figures of the later Middle Ages ... paints, in brilliant and intricate detail, a picture of Italian domestic life on the eve of the Renaissance * The Times * As a picture of the daily round in Tuscany before the dawn of the Renaissance it is a complement to The Decameron * Sunday Times *
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About Iris Origo

Iris Origo, the Marchesa Origo (1902-1988) was an American writer who lived in Southern Tuscany. Her other books include War in the Val d'Orcia, Leopardi and The Last Attachment.
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Rating details

247 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 26% (63)
4 45% (112)
3 25% (61)
2 4% (10)
1 0% (1)
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