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Four Princes Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

John Julius Norwich - whom the Wall Street Journal called "the very model of a popular historian" - has crafted a big, bold tapestry of the early 16th century, when Europe and the Middle East were overshadowed by a quartet of legendary rulers, all born within a 10-year period:

Francis I of France, the personification of the Renaissance, who became a highly influential patron of the arts and education.

Henry VIII, who was not expected to inherit the throne but embraced the role with gusto, broke with the Roman Catholic Church, and appointed himself head of the Church of England.

Charles V, the most powerful and industrious man at the time, was unanimously elected Holy Roman Emperor.

Suleiman the Magnificent stood apart as a Muslim, and brought the Ottoman Empire to its apogee of political, military, and economic power.

Against the vibrant background of the Renaissance, these four men laid the foundations for modern Europe and the Middle East, as they collectively impacted the culture, religion, and politics of their respective domains.

©2016 John Julius Norwich (P)2017 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"British polymath, TV personality, and historian Norwich delivers lively biographies of all four characters...Bad behavior makes for entertaining history, and age has not diminished Norwich's skills." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (28 )
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  •  
    Katie 05-30-17
    Katie 05-30-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Really great"

    Fantastic story! Fascinating period of history and to have the interconnections of the major players of this era is fabulous. Norwich asway does a fabulous job. Had a few moment when the pronunciation by the author annoyed me but easily overlooked.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Avid Bookreader 08-21-17
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    "Excellent Historic Analysis Written into Stories"
    Where does Four Princes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I really enjoyed this book. Excellent stories and historic analysis wrapped in humor and important, interesting insights. I love John Julius Norwich's ability to take dry history and turn it into fascinating stories. You will be captivated by the book and the narrator is excellent. I'm looking forward to listening to one of Norwich's other great books, A Short History of Byzantium, to appear in Audible, narrated by Julian Elfer. Elfer is an excellent narrator, with a British accent, and excellent command of French and other European languages.


    What did you like best about this story?

    John Julius Norwich weaves together the stories, personalities, and historic impacts of four Kings from the early 1500's. His brilliance conveying historic events and highlighting historic significance with energy, color, and humor, is captivating.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Norwich's description of Suleiman the Magnificant's invasion of the Knights of St. John on Malta is amazing. Norwich does an excellent job explaining the terrain and St. John fortifications, and the Ottoman's efforts to capture the island. He explains, so well, the reason that Suleiman the Magnificant's chose to attack the island.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Brilliance and Ineptitude in the Early 1500's.


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to another book, "The Medichi" before this book, just by chance. "The Medichi" was a great background for this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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