This is a biography of one of the most brilliant 15th century monarchs, Alfonso V of Aragon, who won from his contemporaries the title "the Magnanimous". Professor Ryder follows him from childhood in the chivalric world of Castile, to the newly-acquired states of Aragon, and his subsequent accession to the Aragonese throne. Pulled by powerful dynastic interests towards intervention in the turbulent world of Castilian politics, Alfonso eventually broke free to pursue his own ambitions in the central Mediterranean. Here he conquered Naples, bent the papacy to his will, broke the power of Genoa and planted his standards against Turkish advance in the Balkans. Alan Ryder shows that Alfonso was also a shrewd politician, who made himself at home in the diplomatic jungle of Renaissance Italy, a merchant prince acutely aware of the power of commerce and one of the greatest patrons of the early Renaissance. Alfonso the Magnanimous brought humanism to life in Southern Italy, and made his court the most brilliant in Europe. Based on extensive archival research, this biography of Alfonso also covers political and cultural developments during his reign.
'Ryder has filled a notable gap in the literature with his masterly account of Alfonso's life. Out of a vast mass of unpublished sources he has crafted a clear, concise and fluent narrative.'
Times Literary Supplement
`Alan Ryder's, Alfonso the Magnanimous will establish itself as the standard biography of this ambitious and grandiose ruler of Aragon, Naples, Sicily and a good many other kingdoms.'
Journal of Medieval History
'Ryder's biography ... is an important and stimulating study'
Christopher F. Black, History, February 1992
'Ryder's biogrqaphy, based on extensive archival work, notably in Barcelona and Palermo, with some valuable quotations from Alfonso's communications, is an important and stimulating study'
Christopher F. Black, University of Glasgow, History Feb '92
'An ambitious and well-documented cvolume which offers the first really complete biography of Alfonso V of Aragon.'
British Bulletin of Publications
'Professor Ryder has given us a full-scale study of Alfonso in the context of Italian politics, One of the great strengths of this immensely readable and scholarly book is the way in which it shows the nature of the Aragonese contribution to the sixteenth-century Spanish monarchy.'
J.R.L. Highfield. Merton College, Oxford. EHR Feb '94
Abbreviations; Castilian childhood (1396-1412); Heir apparent in Aragon (1412-1416); First steps towards Italy (1416-1423); Diversion to Castile (1424-1432); Return to Italy (1432-1534); Naples won (1436-1442); 'Necessary and just wars' (1443-1455); A Renaissance king; Some questions of kingship; A darkening scene (1454-1458); Sources; Maps; Index