Blood and Beauty The Borgias Author:Sarah Dunant By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy are matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and inside the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children but by his blood... more »: He is a Spanish Pope in a city of Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women, and power must use papacy and family - in particular his eldest son, Cesare, and his daughter Lucrezia - in order to succeed.
Cesare, with a dazzlingly, cold intelligence and an even colder soul, is Rodrigo's greatest - though increasingly unstable - weapon. Later immortalized in Machiavelli's The Prince, he provides the energy and the muscle. Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is the prime dynamic tool. Twelve years old when the novel opens, she embarks on a journey thorugh three marriages, from childish innocence to painful experience, from pawn to political player.
Stripping away the myths around the Borgias, Blood & Beauty is a majestic novel that breathes life into this astonishing family and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex, and relentless.« less