In this sixth book of his proposed seven-volume Hinges of History series, following Mysteries of the Middle Ages, Thomas Cahill guides us through the thrilling period of the Renaissance and the Reformation (the late 14th to the early 17th centuries), a period so full of innovation and cultural change that the Western world would not see its like until the 20th century. Beginning with the continent-wide disaster of the Black Death, Cahill traces the many developments in European thought and experience that served both the new humanism of the Renaissance and the seemingly abrupt religious alterations of the increasingly radical Reformation. The book features 62 color plates of artistic masterworks and another 22 illustrations.
"Cahill is a felicitous writer ... [whose] erudition is impressive and engaging. No reader will doubt his enthusiasm for or knowledge of great Renaissance masters such as Donatello, Masaccio and Botticelli, as well as the freakishly talented Leonardo and that ruffian Caravaggio. Almost as important, Heretics and Heroes is illustrated in a lavish and handsome fashion. Anyone looking for a refresher on Renaissance art ... or on Reformation conflicts and the subsequent wars of religion could do far worse than to pick up this breezy but reliable guide."—Washington Post