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The Art of the Network: Strategic Interaction and Patronage in Renaissance Florence
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The Art of the Network: Strategic Interaction and Patronage in Renaissance Florence

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Writing letters to powerful people to win their favor and garner rewards such as political office, tax relief, and recommendations was an institution in Renaissance Florence; the practice was an important tool for those seeking social mobility, security, and recognition by others. In this detailed study of political and social patronage in fifteenth-century Florence, Paul ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 7th 2007 by Duke University Press Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jo Walton
Do not read this book first.

If you're a scholar you almost certainly know whether you want this or not. If you're a random person reading, you probably don't want it. If you're a fantasy writer doing research, well, it's very very specific, and this is both its virtue and its flaw.

I found it deeply illuminating, but a lot of what it was doing was shining light on connections between things I already knew. It's great on patronage systems in Florence, it's great on the way formulaic letters were u
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