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The Enchantress of Florence

by Salman Rushdie

I’m a big fan of Rushdie’s books and this is one of the best. If you like a story that will wrap you up and absorb you into the exotic world of Mughal India and Renaissance Florence, this is the book for you. See Macchiavelli in a new light and enter the well travelled world of the Vespucci family.

Extract

As the crowds caught sight of Qara Koz a whisper began to spread through the city, becoming a murmur that had the effect of hushing all the riotous sounds of the day, so that by the time Argalia and the ladies arrived at the Palazzo Cocchi del Nero an extraordinary silence had fallen, as the people of Florence contemplated the arrival in their midst of physical perfection, a dark beauty to fill the hole left in their hearts by Simonetta Vespucci's death. Within moments of her coming she had been taken to the city's heart as its special face, its new symbol of itself, the incarnation in human form of that unsurpassable loveliness which the city itself possessed. The Dark Lady of Florence: poets reached for their pens, artists for their brushes, sculptors for their chisels.

Parallels

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
 

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