By Mary Hollingsworth
Son of Lucretia Borgia and brother of the Duke of Ferrara, Ippolito d'Este grew to become Archbishop of Milan on the age of nine yet needed to wait one other two decades earlier than he bought his coveted cardinal's hat. This honour used to be the path to strength and wealth in sixteenth-century Europe - it had little to do with piety. Ippolito used to be no religious cleric: he loved playing, looking, tennis and girls. this can be the tale of the 5 years it took to accomplish his ambition, a narrative related to kin squabbles and personal feuds, and the political agendas of the Pope, the Emperor and the King of France. Ippolito spent a lot of this era on the French courtroom, sampling the sophistication of Paris, the luxuries of Fontainebleau, the pleasures of looking within the Loire valley, the buzz of conflict in Picardy, the glamour of a global peace convention at great, and the extraordinary discomforts of mountain commute. The Cardinal's Hat relies fullyyt at the account books and letters preserved within the documents at Modena, wherein Ippolito emerges around the centuries with extraordinary readability. The files additionally offer glimpses into the lives of standard humans, not only his chefs and solid boys, yet shopkeepers, developers, bargemen, peasants or even beggars. exceptionally, they supply a special perception into lifestyles in sixteenth-century Europe.
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Additional resources for The Cardinal's Hat: Money, Ambition and Housekeeping in a Renaissance Court
Antoine had additionally chanced on time to make a black fustian doublet for the pastry prepare dinner and a brand new orange satin doublet for one of many pages. Ippolito’s outfits have been decidedly no longer these of a cleric. Antoine had made doublets, one in pink Venetian satin and the opposite in finely pleated purple Florentine taffeta. there have been new saglii, one in brown velvet trimmed with purple taffeta for using, and the opposite in purple Venetian damask additionally trimmed with purple taffeta, which was once sincerely meant for social events. eventually there have been new coats, either one of pink damask: the lengthy coat had huge French-style sleeves, whereas the fast one was once edged with brown velvet and coated with pink taffeta. Antoine had additionally trimmed a brown velvet hat with purple taffeta and peacock feathers. Ippolito should have regarded just right, and extremely pricey – the price of the fabrics for those clothing got here to 210 scudi. Ippolito arrived at Fontainebleau on 6 June and his enthusiastic reception by means of the French courtroom used to be graphically defined by way of Ercole’s ambassador. He chanced on the King used to be nonetheless in mattress and once he had dismounted, with out quenching his thirst, he went immediately to the King’s bedchamber, the place the ushers allowed him to go into, and the King used to be super happy to work out him – so it's stated, although nobody else used to be in there with them – and Ippolito stayed with him for 2 hours. The King then rose, gave Ippolito permission to return to his personal chambers and requested him to come back to lunch. while Ippolito left the King’s bedchamber he went to that of Catherine de’ Medici, who had merely simply received up – i used to be with him and observed she used to be thrilled to work out him. either one of them went to the room of Madame d’Etampes, who was once nonetheless in mattress, they usually have been warmly welcomed and spent part an hour together with her. He then went to go to the Queen and Princess Marguerite, and to the viewers chamber the place he observed the Queen of Navarre and the Cardinal of Lorraine. whilst he received again to his chambers he used to be visited via Cardinal Tournon and others, then he replaced and went to Mass with the King. Afterwards they'd lunch jointly on my own. The Cardinal of Lorraine lunched with Madame d’Etampes and the King of Navarre lunched with the Chancellor. Montmorency used to be away the day Ippolito arrived, but if he back he greeted Ippolito as warmly because the others. Ippolito had lower back encumbered with offers for the court docket. They have been graded in keeping with the prestige of the recipient and have been allotted through Alessandro Rossetto over the subsequent month. On 10 June, Rossetto awarded Ippolito’s presents to Queen Eleanor and to Marguerite, Francis I’s simply surviving daughter. The Queen obtained decorative collars, embroidered with gold and crimson silk, one in every of which were made in Mantua and the opposite in Milan. The Mantuan collar used to be one of many goods Ippolito had got in April in lieu of a playing debt. For Marguerite, Ippolito had introduced pairs of orange velvet slippers embroidered with silver thread, pairs of matching stockings and a peacock-feather fan. a couple of days later it used to be the flip of Madame d’Etampes, the King’s mistress.