Myths and rumour have shrouded the Borgia family for centuries – tales of incest, intrigue and murder have been told of them since they themselves walked the hallways of the Apostolic Palace. In particular, vicious rumour and slanderous tales have stuck to the names of two members of the infamous Borgia family – Cesare and Lucrezia, brother and sister of history’s most notorious family. But how much of it is true, and how much of it is simply rumour aimed to blacken the name of the Borgia family?
In the first ever biography solely on the Borgia siblings, Samantha Morris tells the true story of these two fascinating individuals from their early lives, through their years living amongst the halls of the Vatican in Rome until their ultimate untimely deaths. Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia begins in the bustling metropolis of Rome with the siblings ultimately being used in the dynastic plans of their father, a man who would become Pope, and takes the reader through the separate, yet fascinatingly intertwined, lives of the notorious siblings. One tale, that of Cesare, ends on the battlefield of Navarre, whilst the other ends in the ducal court of Ferrara. Both Cesare and Lucrezia led lives full of intrigue and danger, lives which would attract the worst sort of rumour begun by their enemies.
Drawing on both primary and secondary sources Morris brings the true story of the Borgia siblings, so often made out to be evil incarnate in other forms of media, to audiences both new to the history of the Italian Renaissance and old.
There is something about the Borgias that has always fascinated me, it is probably the scandal and intrigue mainly as I love a bit of gossip and historical gossip is some of the best and I was pleased to see that the author ackkowlegded this too!
I can easily say that the action of Lucrezia and Cesare Borgia were pretty scandalous for their time, and probably would still be viewed like that today and I found this to be a pretty addictive read, there is plenty of new material in this one, or material that I have not read or seen before so I was really hooked by this one.
I love this period of history and I normally focus on the English history in the main so it was great to be able to look further afield and pop over to Italy, I like most people have seen the TV series but I knew there was much more to them from other brief books I had read, this is the best I have read on them to date.
I liked the way that this book was laid out and it was very well written. It is quite evident that the author had done a lot of research and was clued up on the family to write book and that really comes across. It is 4 stars from me for this one, really interesting read – highly recommended!
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