Excellent. The history behind the philosophy. This fills the background well and brings a much needed appreciation for Machiavelli as more a commentator on his times (and a patriot) versus the evil, amoral manipulator.
Now I have to learn Italian.
Any book by Jenny Uglow is well worthwhile. They spur me on in learning about history & works of authors I've neglected. I'm finding I'm turning the pages of 'George Eliot' side-by-side with pages of Wikipedia, & Open Library's "Mill on the Floss". Strong, courageous, complex characters require close study. From what I've read so far this delivers. Now what can I find about the 1st reform bill? Fuerbach? Early feminists?