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Bbc natural world journal with the most recent discoveries, perspectives and information on flora and fauna, conservation and environmental concerns, and relied on further-information resources, the journal is superb for someone with a fondness for the topic

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From the outset, Francesco Coppoli took an active role in sorting out trouble in his fief, and he intervened more as time went by. 130 A wife and mother warned the commissario that GOVERNANCE 37 the marchese could salvage her good reputation from a neighbor’s slander if he would not. A village prostitute promised to go to the marchese in order to stop some local youths from harassing her. 132 Like any sovereign, the feudatory could circumvent legal procedure by interrupting (circondare) trial proceedings and quieting disputes himself.

Most courtiers in Florence were non-Tuscan, and dependent on the goodwill of the Prince for their advancement. Francesco gradually climbed the ranks of the various dignities there, from a lowly page, to Cameriere segreto, to cupbearer (coppiere: a pun on the family name and arms) in the Guardarobba Maggiore, to ambassador to Pope Urban VIII and to other princes. 75 He spent much of his life proclaiming his allegiance to the Medici, and to the primacy of his Florentine ties. 78 Only the wealthiest or the most spendthrift houses could compete.

Francesco Coppoli’s title of marchese he shared with Claude Dalbon during her lifetime, but the fief and its title and prerogatives would then pass through the male line in order of primogeniture. Claude Dalbon’s other child, a daughter, could only succeed to the title in the absence of a male heir through Francesco, and no other female could inherit it. The holder could not sub-infeud the marquisate (that is, to break up and sell individual rights to lesser nobles), which was to remain entire and indivisible as the prince established it.

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BBC Wildlife (November 2011)

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