Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a Florentine statesman who was later forced out of public life. He then devoted himself to studying and writing political philosophy, history, fiction, and drama.
George Bull is an author and journalist who has translated six volumes for the Penguin Classics: Benvenuto Cellinis Autobiography, The Book of the Courtier by Castiglione, Vasaris Lives of the Artists (two volumes), The Prince by Machiavelli and Pietro Aretinos Selected Letters. He is also Consultant Editor to the Penguin Business Series. After reading history at Brasenose College, Oxford, George Bull worked for the Financial Times, McGraw-Hill World News, and for the Director magazine, of which he was Editor-in-Chief until 1984. His other books include Vatican Politics; Bid for Power (with Anthony Vice), a history of take-over bids; Renaissance Italy, a book for children; Venice: The Most Triumphant City; and Inside the Vatican.
Anthony Grafton teaches European intellectual history at Princeton University.