The Merchant of Prato : Francesco di Marco Datini: Daily Life in a Medieval Italian City Paperback
by Iris Origo
Francesco di Marco Datini, the 14th-century Tuscan merchant who forms the subject of the Marchesa Origo's study, has now probably become the most intimately accessible figure of the later-Middle Ages.
In 1870 the whole astonishing cache, containing some 150,000 letters and great numbers of business documents, came to light.
The Marchesa Origo has drawn on this material to paint, in detail, a picture of Italian domestic life on the eve of the Renaissance.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 10/12/1992
- Category: Biography: historical, political & military
- ISBN: 9780140172188
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Review by herschelian
Reading this is the nearest one will ever come to actually living in a Medieaval Italian town. One gets a fantastic insight into daily life - in glorious detail. Datini - the Merchant of Prato - is not a man one would wish for a husband, he is such a control freak, lacking sensitivity towards his wife and family, and mean with his money. I suppose that is how he became a successful merchant in the first place. The times in which they all lived were crude and violent, people lived within very small areas, and yet life still has its pleasures. This book is a MUST for anyone interested in Italian history. Prato still exists although it has almost been absorbed into the sprawl of greater Florence, and more importantly, one can still visit the Datini house.