It was a dynasty with more wealth and power than the houses of Windsor, Kennedy, and Rockefeller combined. It shaped all of Europe and controlled politics, scientists, artists and even popes for three hundred years. It was the house of Medici. Bankers turned nobility and de facto rulers, the Medici family defined upward mobility. Patrons of the arts who helped make Florence one of the great cultural centers of the Renaissance, they were also power-hungry and reckless, ultimately losing everything. In The House of Medici, Christopher Hibbert, author of The Days of the French Revolution, explores the lives and misdeeds of this remarkable family. Christopher Hibbert, an Oxford graduate, has written more than fifty books, including Wellington: A Personal History, London: The Biography of a City, Redcoats and Rebels, and The Destruction of Lord Raglan. He lives with his family in Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire, England.