Author(s): Iris Origo
In 1870 an astonishing cache, containing some 150,000 letters and great numbers of business documents, came to light. Iris Origo drew on this material to paint, in detail, a picture of Italian domestic life on the eve of the Renaissance. Francesco di Marco Datini, the 14th-century Tuscan merchant who forms the central subject of Iris Origo's study, has now probably become the most intimately accessible figure of the later Middle Ages. The book is rightly celebrated as one of the most engrossing of all modern books on Italian life and history.
Iris Origo, the Marchesa Origo (1902-1988) was an American writer who lived in Southern Tuscany. Her other books include War in the Val d'Orcia, Leopardi and The Last Attachment.