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The Borgias Hardcover – March 1, 1989

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Franklin Watts; Library Binding edition (March 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531151018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531151013
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,234,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cloulas, conservator-in-chief of the French National Archives, here follows the lives of the most notorious members of the infamous Renaissance family: Alonso Borgia, the nepotistic Spanish cleric who became Pope Calixtus III; his licentious nephew, Rodrigo, who became Pope Alexander VI; Rodrigo's son, the treacherous Cesare, who was determined to bring much of Italy under Borgia control; Rodrigo's vilified daughter, Lucrezia; and the pious Francis, Rodrigo's great-grandson, who was later canonized. Cloulas presents his colorful account dispassionately; indeed, it takes little to make lively reading out of the details of this family tale--lawlessness, murder, debauchery, incest, political intrigue, fratricide, adultery and a host of other depravities speak for themselves. Stories about the Borgias have excited curiosity for centuries, and this lucidly written history, much of it based on accounts by their contemporaries, should serve to keep the fascination alive.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Tales of incest, murder, and numerous other vices have long made Rodrigo, Lucretia, and Cesare Borgia subjects of popular interest. This translation from the French of a best-selling but scholarly family history succeeds in placing the Borgias within the broader perspective of Renaissance politics, religion, and ordinary dynastic ambition. Known fact is separated from legend, as the author weaves together, over two centuries, a complex group portrait that concludes with Francis Borgia, "a genuine saint." The activities of the more infamous personalities are viewed as little different from those of other contemporary dynasties seeking political power in a fluid and treacherous environment. The result, at long last, is a balanced narrative likely to become the standard work. Recommended for academic and public libraries.
- William F. Young, SUNY at Albany Lib.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Allycat on June 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Stimulated by HBO's tv series, I wanted to check on the true historical facts of this family. This is a very informative book, academically written. Fortunately, he breaks the text into digestible sections, so it doesn't overwhelm. The detail is amazing - years' worth of research. It's hard to realize this is a true story of a Pope and his family rather than some wild fiction. The excesses are stunning. No wonder Luther protested against the church.

Cloulas' writing style is non-sensational, but that makes his description of the many deaths caused by the family even more chilling to read, "He was strangled in the night." The much-described poisoning did not really appear to be the weapon of choice for the Borgias.

Cloulas gives great background for his narrative, but reports some points as undocumented rumors, such as the much-reported incest between Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo) and his daughter Lucrezia, and Lucrezia and her brother Cesare, despite the tv portrayal. Even the also-mentioned here are notable - da Vinci, Columbus, Isabella, Loyola, the Medicis, Machiavelli, and more.

If you want a factual account of this family, this is the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Try reading this book is a real feat. All characters related to this family appear without any introduction. To obscure or unfamiliar figures of the time are described. No introductions or explanations. It really is a very overwhelming and confusing book. The author has a deep knowledge of the issues, but I don't, just looking enlighten. If you are a historian or a student of the family the book can be entertaining. To me it was overwhelming.
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