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The Borgias

Christopher Hibbert

7 Reviews

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Prose: non-fiction, European history

Warlords, Popes, Poisoners - the true story of the Borgias, the first family of the Italian Renaissance

The name Borgia is synonymous with the corruption, nepotism, and greed that were rife in Renaissance Italy.

The powerful, voracious Rodrigo Borgia, better known to history as Pope Alexander VI, was the central figure of the dynasty. Two of his seven papal offspring also rose to power and fame - Lucrezia Borgia, his daughter, whose husband was famously murdered by her brother, and that brother, Cesare, who served as the model for Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince. Notorious for seizing power, wealth, land, and titles through bribery, marriage, and murder, the dynasty's dramatic rise from its Spanish roots to its occupation of the highest position in Renaissance society forms a gripping tale.

Erudite, witty, and always insightful, Hibbert removes the layers of myth around the Borgia family and creates a portrait alive with his superb sense of character and place.

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Praise for The Borgias

  • Rather more than the story of an extraordinary and vicious family, The House Of Borgia is an engrossing account of a country divided up into a collection of constantly warring states, of

  • alliances made and broken and of almost unimaginable power and wealth there for the taking by those ruthless enough to let nothing stand in the way of their vaulting ambitions. - Daily Express

  • ... a coherent and colourful historical record of the Borgias. - Literary Review

  • Few could have told the story better ... pacy, uncluttered and an eye for resonant detail. Sparkling. - Tribune

  • A tale of greed, nepotism, assassination and relentless jostling for power. - Sunday Times

  • Hibbert tells a good story. - Times Literary Supplement

  • In the last book he wrote before he died Hibbert captures quite brilliantly the extravagence and immorality at the heart of the papal empire on the eve of the Reeformation. - Good Book Guide

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