Technically this book doesn’t have much to do with the Elizabethan period, as it was written in early sixteenth century Italy, not late sixteenth century England. But I figured, y’know, I keep referring to Invidiana as Machiavellian (in descriptions of the novel, not within the novel itself), and I’d never read this book, so I figured I should.
Not a lot to say about it, except that it’s, um, less Machiavellian than I expected. Yeah, there’s the whole “ends justify the means” approach, and he does say it’s safer (not “better,” at least in my translation) to be feared rather than loved, but he also points out that you shouldn’t make your subjects hate you. (Which would be where Invidiana has gone wrong.) It’s a short book, and a quick read, especially if (like me) you skim over the examples he chooses from recent Italian politics.
The other major reason I picked it up is that I may put brief epigraphs at the beginning of each section, and I suspected this might provide me with some good ones. I have a couple of strong possibilities marked down now. Unfortunately, the other two things I want to read through in search of quotable quotes are The Book of the Courtier and The Faerie Queene, neither of which will be half so quick to get through.