Within the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Burckhardt finds the first stirrings of the modern world and, in the Renaissance Italian, the first modern man. His book-length essay includes discussions of all aspects of Italian civilization: art, fashion, literature, and the music of the time, as well as the flourishing of intellectual and spiritual life.
(P)2000 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"An engrossing world of politics and popes, religion and renegades, lifestyles and literature that few historical works encompass....a joy for devotees of the Renaissance." (AudioFile)
For a contemporary author of history to write a book of real merit it is required that the author have mastered the material that is the subject of the book, found wisdom in those studies, and most importantly must be able to present his work in a style that renders the material comprehensible and appealing to a wide readership.
When reading a work penned 150 years ago, one must allow for the change in writing styles from then to now. For example just try reading On War by Carl von Clausewitz or even Geoffrey Chaucer or even William Shakespeare in their original wordings. It should also go without saying that when the author refers to now he means his contemporary now of a 150 years ago, which means, his ideology reflect his era not ours.
Thus, Jacob Burckhardt's The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy like The Prince by Niccol?? Machiavelli or The Inferno by Dante Alighieri needs some knowledge of the era to be truly appreciated. Because of the arcane style of this book, if you don't already have knowledge of both the Renaissance in Italy and the author's 1800's this work may not be the best place to acquire it.
Geoffrey Howard did an able job in his narration.
I regret purchasing this book. I gave it up after listening for close to 3 hours because I feel that it reads like a questionnaire. A long list of names and accompanaying each: Was he gruesome? Yes, no. Did he try to grab wealth wherever possible? Yes, no. Did he have a wife renowned for her beauty and devotion to the local church? Yes, no. Did he murder someone? Yes, no. Was he murdered? But no presentation, and no future promise of one, on what these facts may possibly relate to use about the renaissance in Italy. Extremely boring in my opinion.
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