How Dario Fo Learned That He Won the Nobel Prize

Dario Fo, the Italian playwright/actor/painter/political rabble-rouser who won the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature, passed away today at the age of 90. Continue reading How Dario Fo Learned That He Won the Nobel Prize

Farewell to an Italian Historian

Christopher Hibbert - Rome: The Biography of a City

I was hoping that with my first post of the new year I would look forward. Instead, with the passing of Christopher Hibbert, I thought it would be worth it to look back.

Until I read Hibbert’s obituary, I didn’t know too much about him, only that he was the author of one of the most prominent Italian history books on my shelf – Rome: Biography of a City. This book, along with The House of the Medici: Its Rise and Fall, established Hibbert as one of the English-speaking world’s foremost authority on Italy’s history.

Hibbert, 84, was working up until the end. His most recent book – The Borgias and Their Enemies – was published in October of last year. Like Hibbert’s other history books, The Borgias is set to be a definitive guide to the controversial Italian clan. In fact, the New Yorker included it in its list of notable books in the December 22, 2008, issue.

So, if you’re looking to learn more about Italian history in 2009, mark down Christopher Hibbert’s works on your reading list.