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Blood & Beauty: The Borgias—A novel

Sarah Dunant.
Publisher Random House  
Format hardcover
ISBN 9781400069293
Pages/Publication Date 504/2013
Daedalus Item Code 38572
This item is not available.
The author of such popular Italian Renaissance novels as The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan, and Sacred Hearts here turns her exceptional talent for breathing life into history toward one of Europe's most intriguing and infamous families. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI in 1492, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood; he is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgia dynasty is 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 the dazzlingly cold intelligence later immortalized in Machiavelli's The Prince, provides the energy and the muscle. Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is the prime dynastic tool; 12 years old when the novel opens, her journey takes her through three marriages, from childish innocence to painful experience, from pawn to political player. Sarah Dunant's majestic novel breathes life into this astonishing family and celebrates the raw, complex, relentless power of history itself.

"The big, bad Borgia dynasty undergoes modern reconsideration in [this] epic new biofiction.... Dunant's biggest and best work to date, this intelligently readable account of formative events and monster players has Hilary Mantel–era quality bestseller stamped all over it."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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