Then and Now Author:W. Somerset Maugham The story centers on Machiavelli, noted infamous historical figure, and a diplomatic journey to enter into a discourse with Caesar Borgia. — His companion for his journey is young Piero, a (seemingly) innocent admirer of Machiavelli along to learn and observe. Machiavelli is lulled into a sense of comraderie with his young companion, who flatters... more » him along the way.
But Machiavelli bargains for more than he gains when he falls in love with a married woman on his mission, and enlists Piero's aid in realizing his overwhelming passion for this girl.
A sub-plot involving Machievelli's hoped-for seduction of his host's attractive young wife is also believable: he sees the affair as an extension of politics, and the reader is given a view of the views suffered by women of that bygone era. In sum, this book is definitely readable, and recommendable.« less