Iris Origo’s re-creation of the life of a medieval Italian merchant, Francesco di Marco Datini, draws on an astonishing cache of letters and reveals a shrewd, enterprising, anxious man, as he makes deals, furnishes his sumptuous house, buys silks for his outspoken young wife and broods on his legacy.
It is an unequalled source of knowledge about the texture of daily life in the small, earthy, violent, striving world of fourteenth-century Tuscany.
Nothing but the Best
It was grudgingly that I started to read Iris Origo’s The Merchant of Prato. My wife told me to. She had been referred to it for her studies. It sounded dry stuff, the re-creation of the life of a...Read more