Advise against selling as fiction, except to those who know exactly why they are interested. Its one chance lies with those interested in the minutiae of personalities of the period of Pope Leo X. It will take a highly intelligent reader, equipped with a profound knowledge of and interest in the times to compass its difficulties of vocabulary (self-conscious and artificial), its ""slightly Italianate style"", its welter of detail out of which the characters barely rise. It is the story of the bastard son of Glullano de' Modici, who later became a cardinal after years in the papal court. His life is incredibly uneventful, so the story consists chiefly of chronicles of the court against which so many figures appear as to cause them to become virtually indistinguishable the one from the other. The mother tells the story -- as eyewitness. Perhaps we are unfair to a book that indicates profound scholarship. But frankly, we were bored and even looking at it with as nearly as possible an unprejudiced eye, fall to see much chance for sale outside narrowly circumscribed channels.