An entertaining, vivid and fully documented biography of the greatest rogue and opportunist of the Renaissance. This first of blackmailers literally rose from stable and gutter, by his wit and his pen. Through his assurance he became an intimate of princes and artists, a patron of scoundrels. He lived what he was, a dynamic and spectacular person. The opulence and beauty of his palace, his table, his women was unequaled in a lavish age. An adventurer, an able playwright, the first journalist, the first art critic -- a gargantuan success, against the pageantry of the Renaissance. Colorful, amusing, meteoric. A scholarly book, which is likewise grand entertainment.