One of the world's foremost authorities on the Italian Renaissance, Lauro Martines was born in Chicago, has a Ph. D from Harvard University, but has lived in London since 1970. He was Professor of European History at the University of California. He and his wife, the novelist Julia O'Faolain, lived for some years in Florence. His books include Lawyers and Statecraft in Renaissance Florence, Power and Imagination: City States in Renaissance Italy, Society and History in English Renaissance Verse, An Italian Renaissance Sextet: Six Tales in Historical Context, Strong Words: Writing and Social Strain in the Italian Renaissance, and April Blood: Florence and the Plot Against the Medici.