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Four Princes - John Julius Norwich

Four Princes - John Julius Norwich

Title: Four Princes

Author:  John Julius Norwich

ISBN:  9781473632950

Weight:  803g

Signed first edition, first printing



Sorry, sold out

Our price:  £24.99

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

‘Never before had the world seen four such giants co-existing.  Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, these four men together held Europe in the hollow of their hands.’

Four great princes – Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent – were born within a single decade.  Each looms large in his country’s history and, in this book, John Julius Norwich broadens the scope and shows how, against the rich background of the Renaissance and destruction of the Reformation, their wary obsession with one another laid the foundations for modern Europe.  Individually, each man could hardly have been more different ­– from the scandals of Henry’s six wives to Charles’s monasticism – but, together, they dominated the world stage.

From the Field of the Cloth of Gold, a pageant of jousting, feasting and general carousing so lavish that it nearly bankrupted both France and England, to Suleiman’s celebratory pyramid of 2,000 human heads (including those of seven Hungarian bishops) after the battle of Mohács; from Anne Boleyn’s six-fingered hand (a potential sign of witchcraft) that had the pious nervously crossing themselves to the real story of the Maltese falcon, Four Princes is history at its vivid, entertaining best.

With a cast list that extends from Leonardo da Vinci to Barbarossa, and from Joanna the Mad to le roi grand-nez, John Julius Norwich offers the perfect guide to the most colourful century the world has ever known and brings the past to unforgettable life.

Peer & Press Reviews

Wonderful…  This was indeed a glorious age and Norwich has made a brilliant decision to study four idiosyncratic rulers as an interacting quartet rather than separately…  A lively and charming book.


With characteristic deftness of touch, Norwich brings each character vividly to life and skilfully weaves their stories together…  Norwich introduces a dazzling cast of characters: from Leonardo da Vinci to Martin Luther, Joanna the Mad to Anne Boleyn… the portrayal feels entirely fresh and enables the reader to gain new insights into some of history’s most familiar characters.  It is a genuinely inspired idea for a book, and Norwich executes it with typical aplomb.

Tracy Borman, BBC History Magazine

Packed with extraordinary figures – not just the four princes, but artists and emperors too… a warm, witty and fascinating look at how such dynamic individuals shaped the Renaissance and the Reformation right across Europe throughout the sixteenth century.

History Revealed

Bibliographic Info

Title:Four Princes
Sub title:Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe
Book Features
Edition / printing:First edition, first printing
Edition features:

The main body of the book is 267 pages, which includes two 8-page sections of colour illustrations.

The front matter has an additional 7 pages:

Contents [1 page]
Preface [3]
Authors Note [1]
Maps [2]

The back matter has a further 19 pages:

Acknowledgements [1 page]
Illustration Credits [2]
Bibliography [2]
Index [14]

Overall condition:Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
Signed:On the title page
Book Stats
Publisher:John Murray (Publishers)
Publication date:
Printed by:Clays Ltd, Bungay
ISBN 13:9781473632950
ISBN 10:1473632951
Format:Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages:267 [main body]
Size (h x w x d):241 x 163 x 30mm
Design Credits
Author photo:Camilla Panufnik
Jacket illustrations:
(from left to right)
Henry VIII: Detail From The Field of the Cloth of Gold, Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016 / Bridgeman Images,
Francis I: The Art Archive / Alamy,
Suleiman the Magnificent: Bridgeman Images / photo Tallandier,
Charles V: akg-images.
Maps:Rodney Paull

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