We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
An Unlikely Prince Audiobook

An Unlikely Prince: The Life and Times of Machiavelli

Regular Price:£18.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

In this compelling new biography, historian Niccol Capponi frees Machiavelli (1469-1527) from centuries of misinterpretation. Exploring the Renaissance city of Florence, where Machiavelli lived, Capponi reveals the man behind the legend. A complex portrait of Machiavelli emerges - at once a brilliantly skillful diplomat and a woefully inept liar; a sharp thinker and an impractical dreamer; a hard-nosed powerbroker and a risk-taking gambler; a calculating propagandist and an imprudent jokester.

Capponi's intimate portrait of Machiavelli reveals his behavior as utterly un-Machiavellian, his vision of the world as limited by his very provincial outlook. In the end, Machiavelli was frustrated by his own political failures and utterly baffled by the success of his book The Prince.

©2010 Niccolo Capponi (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
5.0 (1 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (0)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.0 (1 )
5 star
 (0)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jim London 19/11/2016
    Jim London 19/11/2016 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    248
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    86
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    26
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging and Immersive"

    Niccolo Capponi (or Count Niccolo Capponi to give him his full title) is a member or a patrician Florentine family who can trace their residence in that city back to the 13th Century. He has a PhD in military history and numbers Machiavelli as one of his ancerstors. These qualifications come together to make for a highly informative and oddly charming book. Unlike many current historians Capponi doesn't shy away from drawing character portraits of historical figures. He's also happy to make broad but very entertaining generalisations about Florentines as a whole. In other hands that combination might come across as smug, lazy or special pleading for an esteamed ancestor but Capponi is exceptionally learned, he seems to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Machiavelli's writings, his extensive correspondence with friends and the power brokers of Renaissance Italy and also of the political and military context within which Machiavellia operated.

    So we get eye witness accounts of the struggle for Florence to maintain its' republican identity in the midst of a struggle between the French, the Holy Roman Empire and a gallery of psychotic/decadent/dim-witted Popes. We also get a real sense of why Machiavelli's contemporaries liked him to much with tales such as the one in which one of his powerful patrons helped him to blag a luxurious stay at a notoriously stingy power brokers' palace by sending ornately decorated envelopes on a daily basis which purported to contain top secret and potentially valuable intelligence. In fact they just contained a lot of ribald gossip: "I was taking a crap when I recieved your letter....." typifies the tone.

    We also get a rich picture of Machiavelli as funny, clever, disadvantaged by humble roots despite Florence's claim to republican values and incapable telling a diplomatic lie when the bald truth was staring him in the face. Hence his rather turblent career.

    This gets four stars rather than 5 because the production quality is good but not great and it took an hour or so before I was fully gripped. However, I'm very glad I stuck with it and now regard it as a real gem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.