Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Hamlet's Ghost: Vespasiano Gonzaga and His Ideal City
Foyalty 145

Hamlet's Ghost: Vespasiano Gonzaga and His Ideal City (Hardback)

To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.
Email me when back in stock


Occasionally a man emerges from history without us knowing him. Duke Vespasiano Gonzaga (1531-91) of Sabbioneta escaped the net of sixteenth century Italy, its history of wars and conflicts, to fashion a life that was uniquely different. He set out to change the way urban man lived. Importantly, he was the first man to build a Citta ideale. Sabbioneta is the prototype of all planned cities of the modern era. As a confidant of King Philip II of Spain and a traveller, he quickly acquired a cosmopolitan worldview, which led him to become a uomo universale. It was in this capacity that he designed Sabbioneta as a genuine "little Athens." His life was fraught with tragedy, however. Not only did he suffer from syphilis, but his personal troubles left him emotionally damaged. The mysterious death of two wives, including the beautiful Diana of Cardona, forced him to find solace in the construction of his ideal city.

As nephew to the legendary Giulia Gonzaga - and with her encouragement - the Duke managed to forge a career as a poet, bibliophile, antiquarian, condottiero, urban planner and diplomat, all against the backdrop of New World discovery, the Protestant Reformation, and the Inquisition. This book reveals another fascinating story: Vespasiano Gonzaga's link to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Like the Prince of Denmark, he reflects the emergence of our modern consciousness. He was a true Renaissance man whose legacy remains with us to this day. As a self-fashioned personality, the Duke made every attempt to place himself at the forefront of events of his time. His life tells us a great deal about how late-Renaissance men exteriorised their inner world in a bid to achieve immortality.

James Cowan is the author of over 30 books of literature, travel, poetry, and art. He has spent many years living among Aborigines, and has written about their myth life. He was awarded the Australian Literature Society's Gold Medal in 1998 for his novel A Mapmaker's Dream, and received an honorary doctorate for his life's work in the USA. His other works include Desert Father, Fleeing Herod, and A Troubadour's Testament.

More books by James Cowan

Leave Review


Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Standard Delivery FREE FREE 3-5 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Shakespeare and London
Duncan Salkeld
Imagining Shakespeare's Wife: The...
Katherine West Scheil
Imagining Shakespeare's Wife: The...
Katherine West Scheil
The Dynamics of Inheritance on the...
Michelle M. Dowd
© W&G Foyle Ltd
Foyles uses cookies to help ensure your experience on our site is the best possible. Click here if you’d like to find out more about the types of cookies we use.
Accept and Close