Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blood and Beauty: The Borgia's

by Sarah Dunant

Aptly titled Blood and Beauty: The Borgia's is a bloody, often gory story about the beautiful Borgia family. The style reminded me very much of Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl, some interesting but overly smutty historical information.

Rodrigo Borgia became Pope Alexander VI in 1492, the father of four children (that he claimed), despite the fact that celibacy was a requirement of the position. And that is only the beginning of the corruption of his tenure. Throughout his time in office, Borgia manipulated beneficial marriages and divorces for his children, manufactured strategic posts for their charge, had a hand in some suspicious murders and continued his philandering. Yet he was considered a great diplomat and politician at a time when that was a necessary skill of office.

His children were none better. The two older sons, Giovanni and Cesare were in a constant battle for position and a jealous rivalry existed between them, in part perhaps because their father appointed them each to the wrong role. Giovanni was assigned Duke of Gandia, which placed him in charge of land battles, and Cesare was assigned a Cardinal, in hopes he'd become Pope. They each would have been better served having the others' place. His daughter Lucrezia was a pawn for arranged political marriages. The younger son was a disappointment.

In a nutshell. 

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