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3 Great Non-Fiction Books on the Renaissance

by Annie Kapur 2 years ago in literature
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When I was doing my undergraduate degree, I loved to learn about the Renaissance. I cannot tell you how many plays from that era I have read and seen performed because it would make me look like a freak. Anyways, whilst writing essays etc. about such things and writing papers for my own comfort (I know, I'm strange), I have also liked to delve into books about the Renaissance that could have not only helped me but have also been captivating to read.

Good research books of non-fiction are always written with the reader in mind. It is not overtly complicated like some journal articles are. It is not boring and bland like some journal articles are and it is not completely and utterly esoteric like some journal articles are. I like nonfiction that reads like most common people, no matter the qualification level, would be able to understand what you have written without having to refer to other books or areas of study. At most, they would only require a dictionary, or possibly need to Google one or two words. (However, you should be providing a glossary anyways so there you go).

The Renaissance is such an interesting concept because it takes place at different times throughout the world and each time it takes place (especially in Europe) it seems to evolve into something slightly different to the last time. For example: the Italian Renaissance was heavily and overtly Catholic and yet, when we get around to the English Renaissance, the country is already protestant and has been for about a generation or so by that point.

If you're studying the European Renaissance especially, here are some books that would possibly point you in the right direction for your research, study or if you're a Renaissance nerd you can just read them for fun.

3 Great Non-Fiction Books on the Renaissance

The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance by Catherine Fletcher

I adored this book because of the way it presented a different side to teh Renaissance that I thought I always knew. This book is about the dark side of the wars, death and forgotten lives of the Renaissance. It's all about the politics, the invasions and the sort of stuff that history left out. I was honestly shocked because this stuff seemed so very important in order to understand where some of the influence especially for beautiful death in the Renaissance came from that it seemed silly to leave it out or erase it from history. Some of these wars and sickness had thousands of deaths and that is only the beginning.

The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici by Christopher Hibbert

I loved reading every book I could about the Medici whilst I was in school and university. Such a large part of the Renaissance was just because of them and honestly, there probably wouldn't have been an Italian Renaissance without them at all. I would say that this is probably one of the best books about the Medici Family I have ever read and I'm not only saying that because I love the books of Christopher Hibbert, I'm saying that because this book is filled with an extensive amount fo research. This book is also incredibly entertaining in terms of the way it is written - Hibbert makes it dramatic and tense in all the correct places.

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King

I was a big nerd for the architecture of the Italian Renaissance whilst I was in school and honestly I have to say that this book by Ross King really puts it all into perspective. It does not only show us the dome, but it also shows us why the dome is so important and why it is really one of the most important artworks of the Italian Renaissance as well. It was so innovative that when you hear the story of it being told, you can just about believe it. You can imagine these various people looking on day by day in absolute awe of their ever-changing world.

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About the author

Annie Kapur

Film and Writing (M.A)

150K+ Reads on Vocal

IG: @AnnieApproximately

Pronouns: (she/her/hers)

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