The Renaissance

The Renaissance - Will Durant

Full Title:  The Renaissance: The Story of Civilization Volume 5

Author: Will Durant and Ariel Durant

Published: September 18, 1953

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

“The fifth volume in Will Durant’s encyclopedic resume of world history maintains former standards of rich readability and clarity. A study of the stages, attributes, personalities, and flourishing towns of the Italian Renaissance, the volume begins with the dawn of enlightenment as it was reflected in the works of Petrarch and Boccaccio and continues to the late Cinquecento Venetian sunset- seen for example in the ornateness of a Cellini sculpture.

Chapter by chapter organization is suitably varied in focus. Where the event is of importance-such as the Papal Schism- artistic and political personalities are described in relation to it; where a figurehead- like Leonardo eclipse other men; he is given precedence in comment that centers on his life; where a powerful family influenced a community- as the Estes did Ferrara or the Borgias Rome- their histories are described as a unit.

Popular appeal has placed all of Mr. Durant’s work in the widest historical market that combines the interested layman and the scholar in search of new comment- and a new stall there is guaranteed for this.”

(Review by September 1, 1953)

Submitter’s Notes

Another early history book of interest.  This book is some 720 pages and took some time to read.  I was impressed with the history of each chapter starting with “The Age of Petrarch and Boccaccio 1304-77.

Chapter II “The Pope in Avignon 1309-77.

Chapter III “The Rise of the Medici” 1348-1464.

Chapter IV “The Golden Age” 1464-02. 

These chapters are merely the first part, and it continues for many more chapters, and all are of interest to me.  My wife and have traveled to Italy a few times and this book simply added to my interest in that country’s history.  Venice is our favorite and the history is amazing.

This book is readily available from many sources at very reasonable prices.