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Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe
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Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe

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In Europe, 1491 to 1500 was an exciting time to be alive. The entire continent was overshadowed by four rulers, all born within a ten-year period:

King Francis I of France, the most interesting of the quartet, bursting with energy and swagger, was a great patron of the arts and the personification of the Renaissance.

King Henry VIII of England—who was not born to be king but embraced the role with gusto—broke with the Roman Catholic Church, and made himself head of the Church of England.

Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, the most powerful man in the civilized world, obsessed with the religious disputes of Europe, was leader of the Spanish and then Roman Empire.

Suleiman the Magnificent, the richest of them all, stands apart as a Muslim, who brought the Ottoman Empire to its apogee of political, military, and economic power, as well as to the golden age of its artistic and architectural prowess.

Never before had humankind seen such giants coexisting. Against the rich background of the Renaissance, they laid the foundation for modern Europe. Individually, each man could hardly have been more different. Their mutual relations shifted constantly: often they were actively hostile and occasionally they were friendly. There was a healthy respect between them; never did one make the mistake of underestimating another. And together, they dominated the world stage.

Title:Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe
Edition Language:English
ISBN:0802126634
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:304 pages
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    Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe Reviews

  • Marita
    Nov 25, 2016

    “Francis, Henry, Charles, Suleiman: here are our four princes. Individually, they could hardly have been more different; together, they dominated the world stage and moulded the continent of Europe...

  • David
    Feb 04, 2017

    Reading history by historians who have ceased to give a damn is a great simple pleasure.By "ceased to give a damn" I mean, as in this case, the historian has achieved sufficient age, dignity, and reno...

  • Samantha
    Mar 03, 2017

    This overview of four powerful leaders of the 16th century reads like a blog. In some ways that is nice. It is easy to read and doesn't get into too many details. On the other hand, it also includes o...

  • Melisende d'Outremer
    Jan 28, 2017

    Definitely in my comfort zone here - medieval history! Whilst already familiar with each of the four princes - Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain, and Suleyman the Magnific...

  • Orsolya
    May 29, 2017

    The early years of sixteenth-century Europe were dominated by key players: Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, and Charles V of Spain. Lesser known in Western Europe but certainly not less of ...

  • Alex Sarll
    Nov 24, 2016

    An immensely readable history of the first half of the 16th century, told through the lives of four rulers who between them dominated Europe throughout it: England’s Henry VIII, France’s Francis I...

  • M.J.
    Feb 21, 2017

    I received a free E Arc from Netgalley of this book.It's been a long time since I read a non-fiction history book that wasn't set in the Anglo-Saxon/Viking period, but the Tudor period - or rather Eli...

  • Lindz
    Feb 01, 2017

    Yeah, I mostly liked it. Though, no matter what kind of narrative Henry VIII is in he seems to over take it. This could be because Norwich is now getting to the stage and age where he knows this histo...

  • Annie
    Jun 22, 2017

    Delicious. When you read non-fiction history, you often go in knowing that you're going to have to slog through the slow bits, and you accept this, because that's just the way it is. Well. Not with TH...

  • John W.
    May 24, 2017

    A very readable story of Henry VIII< Francis I, Charles V and Suleiman the Magnificent. Introducing Suleiman, emphasizes that Europe at the time ignores, although it should not have, the Islamic world...