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In The Name of the Family: A Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year Book

Sarah Dunant

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A Times Best Historical Fiction Book of the Year * A Cosmopolitan Best Book of the Year * A History Today Book of the Year

Confirms Sarah Dunant's place as the leading novelist of the Renaissance and one of the most acclaimed historical fiction writers of our age. Follows the brilliant Blood and Beauty and The Birth of Venus

A Times Best Historical Fiction Book of the Year
A Cosmopolitan Best Book of the Year
A History Today Book of the Year

'Dunant has made completely her own the story of the Italy's most infamous ruling family . . . in a way that we can see, hear and smell' Mark Lawson, Guardian

'A stunning tale of power and family . . . In Dunant's telling of the Borgia story, Lucrezia is not the sluttish power-crazed poisoner of legend . . . her glorious prose makes her version irresistible' Antonia Senior, The Times

'Stuffed with violence, danger and passion' Daily Mail

Conjuring up the past in all its complexity, horror and pleasures, In The Name of the Family confirms Sarah Dunant's place as the leading novelist of the Renaissance and one of the most acclaimed historical fiction writers of our age.

In the Name of the Family - as Blood and Beauty did before - holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia's doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli.


It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father's plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince.

But while the pope rails against old age and his son's increasing maverick behavior it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

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Praise for In The Name of the Family: A Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year Book

  • Dunant has made completely her own the story of Italy's most infamous ruling family. Retaining the knack for plotting and pacing from the crime novels that began her career, she depicts history in a way that we can see, hear and smell . . . Dunant's Italian novels are an enthralling education (Mark Lawson Guardian)

  • For the last 14 years, her historical fiction has been coming close to doing for Renaissance Italy what Hilary Mantel has done for Tudor England. So deeply does she burrow into the past that her readers are able to imagine it almost as clearly as if it were the present, reinvesting it with that knifeedge uncertainty with which we ourselves imagine the future . . . This is Dunant's fifth Renaissance novel, and like the rest sparkles with the kind of details that fires the imagination (Herald)

  • Sarah Dunant's blood-drenched tale about the Borgias is gripping . . . Dunant's poetic style raises the novel above titillating gossip, and her striking imagery renders it as rich as a Pinturicchio fresco (Scotsman)

  • Open it, and become utterly swept up; then, spend the next three days on Wikipedia googling Every. Single. Character. (Emerald Street)

  • Doing what Hilary Mantel did for Thomas Cromwell, Sarah Dunant tackles the lives of Niccolo Machiavelli, the Borgias... with total ease. Open it, and become utterly swept up, then

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Sarah Dunant

Sarah Dunant is the author of six crime novels for which she won two Silver Daggers. Cultural commentator - for many years she presented The Late Show - she was editor of War of the Words (Virago 1994). Her two previous novels, Transgressions and Mapping the Edge, were the subject of major acclaim.