By Sarah Dunant
The manhattan Times bestselling writer of the acclaimed Italian Renaissance novels--The start of Venus, In the corporate of the Courtesan, and Sacred Hearts--has a superb expertise for respiring lifestyles into background. Now Sarah Dunant turns her discerning eye to 1 of the world's so much fascinating and notorious families--the Borgias--in an engrossing paintings of literary fiction.
By the top of the 15th century, the wonder and creativity of Italy is matched by way of its brutality and corruption, nowhere greater than in Rome and contained in the Church. whilst Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his approach into the papacy as Alexander VI, he's outlined not only via his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate youngsters, yet through his blood: he's a Spanish Pope in a urban run by means of Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate baby-kisser with a massive urge for food for all times, ladies, and gear needs to use papacy and family--in specific, his eldest son, Cesare, and his daughter Lucrezia--in order to succeed.
Cesare, with a dazzlingly chilly intelligence and an excellent chillier soul, is his greatest--though more and more unstable--weapon. Later immortalized in Machiavelli's The Prince, he offers the strength and the muscle. Lucrezia, loved via either males, is the top dynastic device. Twelve years outdated while the radical opens, hers is a trip via 3 marriages, and from infantile innocence to painful adventure, from pawn to political player.
Stripping away the myths round the Borgias, Blood & Beauty is an impressive novel that breathes lifestyles into this superb kin and celebrates the uncooked strength of heritage itself: compelling, advanced and incessant.
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Extra resources for Blood & Beauty: The Borgias
In the 1330s Maestro Gregorio lived in the parish of Sant'Apollinare in the Sesto of San Pancrazio in Florence, and he was still resident there in 1351, when he is mentioned in the tax register for the quarter of Santa Croce (into which the Sesto of San Pancrazio had been incorporated). He established himself quickly in Florence, becoming a captain of Orsanmichele in 1324 and marrying into an old Florentine family, the Compagni, in 1337. As a member of the gente nuova he seems to have risen too rapidly in Florentine society, for along with other recent immigrants he was disqualified from holding public office in Florence in October 1346.
106 After Geri, however, classical scholarship in Arezzo suffered a setback, owing largely to the collapse of the Aretine commune in the early fourteenth century which led to the temporary closure of the university. Nevertheless, the Aretine intellectual tradition remained vital and an interest in classical studies continued; in fact, Arezzo was the only centre of learning in Italy to maintain a continuous tradition of humanist scholarship from the earliest days of pre-humanism until the full bloom of the Renaissance in the fifteenth century.
19r. For the Florentine role in Aretine direct and indirect taxation, cf. Benigni, 'Fonti', and Carbone, 'Note*. For the regulations used to fill communal offices in Arezzo under Florentine rule, cf. Guidi, II governo, iii, 40—5, for the end of the fourteenth century and ASF, Tratte, 8 6 1 , 8 6 2 , 8 7 0 for the fifteenth century. Cf. ASF, Tratte, 8 7 0 , Imborsati e capitoli (1412), not foliated; ASA, Estr. 6, fol. , 7, fol. 14v, 52r, 69r. ASA, P r o w . 5, fol. 2 1 7 r - v , 2 2 3 r - v , 227v, 228r.
Blood & Beauty: The Borgias by Sarah Dunant