> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 22 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141395876
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $19.99

The Prince

Pocket Hardbacks




Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince is the Bible of realpolitik, a tough-minded, pragmatic handbook on how power really works, and how to hold on to it in a dangerous world. How can a leader be strong? Is it better to be feared than loved?

Niccolò Machiavelli's brutally uncompromising manual of statecraft, The Prince is translated and edited with an introduction by Tim Parks in Penguin Classics.
As a diplomat in turbulent fifteenth-century Florence, Niccolò Machiavelli knew how quickly political fortunes could rise and fall. The Prince, his tough-minded, pragmatic handbook on how power really works, made his name notorious and has remained controversial ever since. How can a leader be strong and decisive, yet still inspire loyalty in his followers? When is it necessary to break the rules? Is it better to be feared than loved? Examining regimes and their rulers the world over and throughout history, from Roman Emperors to renaissance Popes, from Hannibal to Cesare di Borgia, Machievalli answers all these questions in a work of realpolitik that still has shrewd political lessons for today.
Tim Parks's acclaimed contemporary translation renders Machiavelli's no-nonsense original as alarming and enlightening as when it was first written. His introduction discusses Machiavelli's life and reputation, and explores the historical background to the work.
Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) was born in Florence, and served the Florentine republic as a secretary and second chancellor, as ambassador and foreign policy-maker. When the Medici family returned to power in 1512 he was suspected of conspiracy, imprisoned and tortured and forced to retire from public life. His most famous work, The Prince, was written in an attempt to gain favour with the Medicis and return to politics.
If you enjoyed The Prince, you might like Plato's Republic, also available in Penguin Classics.
'A gripping work, and a gripping translation'
Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
'Tim Parks's swift and supple new translation brings out all its chilling modernity'
Boyd Tonkin, Independent

  • Pub date: 22 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9780141395876
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Authors

Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was born in Florence. He served the Florentine Republic as a secretary and second chancellor, but was expelled from public life when the Medici family returned to power in 1512. His most famous work, The Prince, was written in an attempt to gain favour with the Medicis and return to politics.

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.

Tim Parks

Born in Manchester, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. He lives in Milan.

He is the acclaimed author of novels, non-fiction and essays, including Europa, In Extremis, A Season with Verona, Teach Us to Sit Still and Italian Ways. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the John Florio Prize and the Italo Calvino Prize.


Related titles