When Alexandre Dumas wrote his Crimes of the Borgias - and other "Crimes" - he fully intended to compile a companion volume, treating of episodes in the great family of the Medici. With this project in view, he collected much material, and actually published, tentatively, two interesting brochures: Une Annee a Florence - in 1841, and Les Galeries de Florence - in 1842.

Nothing, however, came of his more ambitious "idea," and, until to-day, no one has taken in hand to write The Tragedies of the Medici. My attention was first directed to the omission during the preparation of my Guilds of Florence, published in 1906; and I determined to address myself to the forging of that lurid link in the catena of Florentine romance.

In the following pages my readers will see that I have entirely departed from the conventional conceits of the ordinary historian. I have sought to set out the whole truth - not a garbled version - whilst I have fearlessly added decorative features where facts were absent or were too prosaic.

The short "Introduction," dealing with the rise and progress of the house of Medici, will be useful to my public, and the "Chart of the Tragedies" will assist students and others in their appreciation of my enterprise - it is my own compilation and as complete as possible.

The "Bibliography" will help serious readers to a wider reading of my authorities, and the Illustrations - the best procurable - will fix in all my readers' minds something of the actual personalities of my "Tyrants" and my "Victims."