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Faide
12-16-2009, 10:16 PM
Yeah, Iíve finally landed on a time period for my fantasy. 15th century Italy, or, more precisely, the year 1426.



And the 1400s arenít my forte, so I wondered if you guys had any books or websites or to recommend or some facts to share. Thatíd be awesome. Clothing, philosophy, food, technology - general things, really. Anything.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
12-16-2009, 11:17 PM
Will Durant's "The Renaissance" from his Story of Civilization series would be great for telling you just about anything you need to know about the time period: Guelphs and Ghibellines, arts, wars, etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Renaissance-Story-Civilization-Will-Durant/dp/0207942242/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260990578&sr=1-2

Keep in mind, that he was a scholar, and the series is very dry. It can be a hard slog in places, but there is lots of worthwhile information there. You should be able to find one at a used bookstore. I had the whole set of the series a few years ago, but just had to sell them awhile back when we had to divest some weight before we moved to Canada.

Beautiful art history coffee table books of the art will let you know the artists working in different cities, depending on when/where you're planning on placing it. I'd have to check my years (I was an art history major), but you had things like the cathedral in Florence being built, along with the clock tower, and Ghiberti's amazing doors to the baptistry. Most of the works were all religious, commissioned for powerful families or for the pope.

I can help with the iconography if you need it (certain scenes are instantly recognizable, and were repeated throughout the art-- crucifixion, anunciation, last judgement, arrows in St. Sebastian, St. Catherine and her wheel, etc)

On edit: It was set in Naples, I believe, but if you're just needing to get a feel for "writing the Renaissance", I really enjoyed Jeanne Kalogridis' "The Borgia Bride."

Good luck!
HipHop

Ariella
12-16-2009, 11:55 PM
That period in Italy is tricky to research. The country was divided into dozens of independent principalities and city states, each with its own law and customs. Information that's true of one city isn't necessarily true of the others. Also, most of the books on the subject that go into any depth are in Italian.

Having said that, you could start with Daily Life in Renaissance Italy (http://books.google.ca/books?id=I1y-evYSu74C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false) by Elizabeth and Thomas Cohen.

There's also Trevor Dean's The Towns of Italy in the Late Middle Ages (http://books.google.ca/books?id=skmMs7TGPZIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false), which translates a lot of period sources. I think it only covers the period up to 1400, though. If you're looking for some murder and mayhem, his book Crime and Justice in Late Medieval Italy (http://books.google.ca/books?id=Ei_F9AAUcyYC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false) is also very good.

I'd also be a bit cautious with the Durant book. It's a great reference for names and dates, but the analysis and interpretations are more than fifty years old now, and historians don't really agree with all of his ideas anymore.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
12-16-2009, 11:58 PM
That period in Italy is tricky to research. The country was divided into dozens of independent principalities and city states, each with its own law and customs. Information that's true of one city isn't necessarily true of the others. Also, most of the books on the subject that go into any depth are in Italian.

Having said that, you could start with Daily Life in Renaissance Italy (http://books.google.ca/books?id=I1y-evYSu74C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false) by Elizabeth and Thomas Cohen.

There's also Trevor Dean's The Towns of Italy in the Late Middle Ages (http://books.google.ca/books?id=skmMs7TGPZIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false), which translates a lot of period sources. I think it only covers the period up to 1400, though. If you're looking for some murder and mayhem, his book Crime and Justice in Late Medieval Italy (http://books.google.ca/books?id=Ei_F9AAUcyYC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_v2_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q=&f=false) is also very good.

I'd also be a bit cautious with the Durant book. It's a great reference for names and dates, but the analysis and interpretations are more than fifty years old now, and historians don't really agree with all of his ideas anymore.

Thanks for the update! I'd forgotten about the Cohen book. But yeah...names and dates are what the Durant is good for.

PeterL
12-17-2009, 12:36 AM
Find a copy of The Renaissance in Italy by John Addington Symonds. You should be able to find a copy in a good library, and it is a free download.
http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/s#a1504

pdr
12-17-2009, 12:51 PM
you wander down to Genres, Historical you will find a sticky posted called Resources by Era. It covers a vast range of things and there will be much of use to you.

Shakesbear
12-18-2009, 12:40 AM
At Home in Renaissance Italy: Art and Life in the Italian House 1400-1600
by Marta Ajmar-Wollheim (Editor), Flora Dennis (Editor)
V & A Publications ISBN-10: 1851774882 ISBN-13: 978-1851774883
I saw the exhibition at the V and A* - it was awesome! Went twice and the book was a vivid reminder of the exhibitions wondrousness!

*Victoria and Albert Museum, London, you might find this useful
http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/periods_styles/medieval/new_med_ren_galleries/