October 1493, the height of the Renaissance. In a rapidly changing world, Milan flourishes under the leadership of Ludovico il Moro. Those wandering the courtyards of the city's castle often encounter a man in his forties dressed in long pink robes, lost in his own thoughts. The man lives above his workshop, with his mother and a mischievous little boy whom he dotes on; he doesn't eat meat, writes from right to left, and struggles to get paid by his employers. His name is Leonardo da Vinci. His fame extends beyond the Alps, to the French court of Charles VIII, whose envoys have been tasked with a secret mission that concerns Leonardo himself, and his most daring designs.
When a man is found dead in the Castle's courtyard, il Moro turns to Da Vinci for help. Though the corpse shows no signs of violence, the death is highly suspicious: rumours of a plague or superstitious explanations need to be disproven quickly. Leonardo is in no position to refuse his master's request to investigate.
Publisher: Europa Editions (UK) Ltd
Number of pages: 240
Dimensions: 135 x 210 mm
"It demands a degree of chutzpah to make the Renaissance's greatest genius the central character in a novel, but the Italian Marco Malvaldi succeeds in creating a vivid portrait of Leonardo da Vinci in The Measure of a Man."-- Nick Rennison * The Sunday Times *
"A refreshing read, combining mystery, history and biography. It certainly had me intrigued."* Yorkshire Gazette & Herald *
"What a different slant on Leonardo Da Vinci in this whodunit; mystery, historical facts and science all rolled into one..... a joy for Da Vinci fans out there."* NB Magazine *
"Da Vinci comments during the novel that 'the measure of a man' lies in 'growing and learning'. That's what happens to Malvaldi's characters and his world - and, perhaps, to his readers as well."-- David Hebblethwaite * European Literature Netword *
"Humourous and engrossing, a historical novel that will immerse its readers in the torbid atmosphere of the Renaissance and allow them to fully appreciate its most luminous figure." * RAI Letteratura *
"Scientist and mystery writer, Marco Malvaldi is the perfect author to transform Leonardo da Vinci into a detective." * La Repubblica/Robinson *
"At 500 years from the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the author plays with language, science, history, and crime and gives life to the story by imagining his protagonist's multi-form intelligence as it grapples with the fragility and the greatness of human destiny." * La Nazione *
"Malvaldi describes Leonardo's curiosity, attentiveness, and desire to know everything. But the book also explores the protagonist's more human side: his idiosyncrasies and distractedness; his love for eccentric clothes and gossip. The result is a rich and extremely enjoyable portrait of a figure who has been too often confined to the role of genius and artist." * L'Unione Sarda *
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