Nicholas Henshall examines the politics of aristocratic culture in Europe between 1650 and 1750.

Michael Greenhalgh describes how a masterpiece of fifteenth-century Italian art was for a long time used as an ashtray, only to pass into the national collections.

Elka Schrijver describes the art and making of a northern Renaissance man.

From A.D. 400, writes E.R. Chamberlin, imperial Rome was subject to pillage and plunder, but Popes in the Renaissance destroyed in order to rebuild.

Alexander Lee attempts to rescue the Borgias from their baleful reputation.

Much of our evidence for the past comes from paintings and sculpture. But how reliable is this source? Kenneth Clark examines the history of forgeries in art and discusses the motives of the forgers and the reasons for which what now seem to us obvious forgeries were accepted in their time as authentic. He concludes with a discussion of the ethical problems raised by forgeries.

William Amelia describes how Baldassare Castiglione's popular book on courtly manners invoked the elegance and charm of Renaissance life, and went on to influence Europe for centuries.

Alan Haynes profiles a satirist, playwright and man of letters; Aretino led a prodigal and adventurous life in late Renaissance Italy.

M.J. Tucker describes how, although he may have looked rather like a medieval miser, Henry VII attracted to his Court some of the best minds of the Renaissance

H. Ross Williamson profiles the life and career of Cardinal Reginald Pole: cousin to Henry VIII; once Papal candidate; ‘a humanist of European reputation’; Pole spent much of his life abroad, in an artistic and philosophical circle that included Michelangelo.