The four books of The Family in Renaissance Florence do not present a single, homogeneously bourgeois outlook. They are a monument of attitudes. Written as a dialogue, they express conflicting points of view, enabling today’s readers to relive social and moral conflicts that troubled early capitalist society. Alberti’s personages confront much of what it means to be consciously urban—to experience social mobility, to recognize the psychological as well as the practical importance of purchased commodities, to wish in vain for stable families and firm public authority amid fluctuating fortunes and alliances.
History, Europe, Italy,