Cover: Milan Undone: Contested Sovereignties in the Italian Wars, from Harvard University PressCover: Milan Undone in HARDCOVER

Milan Undone

Contested Sovereignties in the Italian Wars

Product Details


$53.00 • £46.95 • €48.95

ISBN 9780674248724

Publication Date: 01/01/2021


464 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

18 photos, 1 illus.

Villa I Tatti > I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History


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A magisterial story that combines a rigorous theoretical underpinning with the voices of those who lived through these challenging times. The book is compellingly written in wonderful prose. It is impossible to remain unmoved by the accounts of sordid power struggles and the economic hardships suffered by the beleaguered civilian population… Milan Undone is a formidable achievement by a scholar who has already made his mark in the field of Italian Renaissance studies. This new book will amplify his standing as a major expert on sixteenth-century Milan and on the early modern state more generally.—Carolyn James, Annali d’Italianistica

One might think that the study of state formation would offer nothing new, but Gagné brings something fresh to the perspective by homing in on [the] collapses and what he terms as the ‘surfeit of sovereignty’ in the first three decades of the sixteenth century… Using an impressive collection of sources, Milan Undone presents a tangled thread of a half-finished, unrealized state.—Amanda Madden, Renaissance and Reformation

Gagné has written a wonderful book: a cultural history of war or a political history in the round, it is pithy, witty, and extremely well researched, managing to be engaging, lively, and relentlessly downbeat all at the same time. Milan at the time of the French invasion and occupation and the Italian wars is ultimately consolidated (legally), but is ‘utterly undone’ through warfare and through the weakness, rapaciousness, forgetfulness, and ineptitude of public actors.—Oren Margolis, author of The Politics of Culture in Quattrocento Europe

Every now and then there comes along a contribution that transforms an entire field of research, opening up long vistas and making us see everything in a new light. Milan Undone is destined to become a landmark book of this kind. Gagné convincingly argues that the instability that accompanied the Italian Wars led to a state of ‘flickering sovereignty’ in Milan, where the key underpinnings of society, including the notion of political authority itself, were thrown into confusion.—Gary Ianziti, author of Writing History in Renaissance Italy

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