I THE ADWERT ACADEMY The importance of biography for the study of history can hardly be overrated. In a sense it is true that history should be like the law and 'care not about very small things'; concerning itself not so much with individual personality as with fundamental causes affecting the rise and fall of nations or the development of mental outlook from one age to another. But even if this be conceded, we still must not forget that the... more...

PREFACE This is no Chronicle of Saints. Nor yet is it a History of Devils. It is a record of certain very human, strenuous men in a very human, strenuous age; a lustful, flamboyant age; an age red with blood and pale with passion at white-heat; an age of steel and velvet, of vivid colour, dazzling light and impenetrable shadow; an age of swift movement, pitiless violence and high endeavour, of sharp antitheses and amazing contrasts. To judge it... more...

INTRODUCTION In came the cardinal, grave and coldly wise,His scarlet gown and robes of cobweb laceTrailed on the marble floor; with convex glassHe bent o'er Guido's shoulder.Walter Thornbury. STILL unrivalled, after the lapse of four centuries the villas of the great cardinals of the Renaissance retain their supremacy over their Italian sisters, not, as once, by reason of their prodigal magnificence but in the appealing charm of their... more...

CHAPTER I. THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE. Difficulty of fixing Date—Meaning of Word Renaissance—The Emancipation of the Reason—Relation of Feudalism to the Renaissance—Mediæval Warnings of the Renaissance—Abelard, Bacon, Joachim of Flora, the Provençals, the Heretics, Frederick II.—Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio—Physical Energy of the Italians—The Revival of Learning—The Double... more...

Preface. he several successive editions of "The Arts of the Middle Ages and Period of the Renaissance" sufficiently testify to its appreciation by the public. The object of that work was to introduce the reader to a branch of learning to which access had hitherto appeared only permitted to the scientific. That attempt, which was a bold one, succeeded too well not to induce us to push our researches further. In fact, art alone cannot acquaint us... more...

INTRODUCTION Lucretia Borgia is the most unfortunate woman in modern history. Is this because she was guilty of the most hideous crimes, or is it simply because she has been unjustly condemned by the world to bear its curse? The question has never been answered. Mankind is ever ready to discover the personification of human virtues and human vices in certain typical characters found in history and fable. The Borgias will never cease to... more...