The Borgias

The Borgias

The Hidden History

Book - 2013
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The startling truth behind one of the most notorious dynasties in history is revealed in a remarkable new account by the acclaimed author of The Tudors and A World Undone . Sweeping aside the gossip, slander, and distortion that have shrouded the Borgias for centuries, G. J. Meyer offers an unprecedented portrait of the infamous Renaissance family and their storied milieu.
They burst out of obscurity in Spain not only to capture the great prize of the papacy, but to do so twice. Throughout a tumultuous half-century--as popes, statesmen, warriors, lovers, and breathtakingly ambitious political adventurers--they held center stage in the glorious and blood-drenched pageant known to us as the Italian Renaissance, standing at the epicenter of the power games in which Europe's kings and Italy's warlords gambled for life-and-death stakes.
Five centuries after their fall--a fall even more sudden than their rise to the heights of power--they remain immutable symbols of the depths to which humanity can descend: Rodrigo Borgia, who bought the papal crown and prostituted the Roman Church; Cesare Borgia, who became first a teenage cardinal and then the most treacherous cutthroat of a violent time; Lucrezia Borgia, who was as shockingly immoral as she was beautiful. These have long been stock figures in the dark chronicle of European villainy, their name synonymous with unspeakable evil.
But did these Borgias of legend actually exist? Grounding his narrative in exhaustive research and drawing from rarely examined key sources, Meyer brings fascinating new insight to the real people within the age-encrusted myth. Equally illuminating is the light he shines on the brilliant circles in which the Borgias moved and the thrilling era they helped to shape, a time of wars and political convulsions that reverberate to the present day, when Western civilization simultaneously wallowed in appalling brutality and soared to extraordinary heights.
Stunning in scope, rich in telling detail, G. J. Meyer's The Borgias is an indelible work sure to become the new standard on a family and a world that continue to enthrall.

Praise for The Borgias
"A vivid and at times startling reappraisal of one of the most notorious dynasties in history . . . If you thought you knew the Borgias, this book will surprise you." --Tracy Borman, author of Queen of the Conqueror and Elizabeth's Women
"The mention of the Borgia family often conjures up images of a ruthless drive for power via assassination, serpentine plots, and sexual debauchery. . . . [G. J. Meyer] convincingly looks past the mythology to present a more nuanced portrait." -- Booklist
"Meyer brings his considerable skills to another infamous Renaissance family, the Borgias [and] a fresh look into the machinations of power in Renaissance Italy. . . . [He] makes a convincing case that the Borgias have been given a raw deal." -- Historical Novels Review
"Fascinating . . . a gripping history of a tempestuous time and an infamous family." --Shelf Awareness
Publisher: New York :, Bantam Books,, [2013]
ISBN: 9780345526915
Branch Call Number: 945.06 BOR 2013 23
Characteristics: xxx, 478 pages : illustrations, maps


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Jul 02, 2019

Excellent! What an impressive read. Well researched and well written. Caveat us the author does take a different position about the subject matter than authors that have come before so be prepared for some startling revelations with strong supporting arguments as to why the Borgia are not what we have thought them to be before.

Jun 17, 2015

I really enjoyed learning the truth about the Borgia family. I have watched the tv movie on Netflex and it portrayed them as rumors have lived on about them. So much of what this author says makes much more sense. He also provided background on the times that they were living in.

May 12, 2015

This book has a completely different take on the Borgia family. Instead of agreeing with the accepted facts of this well known family, the author has dug a little deeper and come up with some believable theories. While even he admits that there will never be any way to prove his version or the universally believed version with definitiveness, he lays out his arguments in a very illuminating fashion.
While it has never been a surprise that many of the stories about the Borgia family were circulated by their enemies and had no basis in truth, even the ones we have supposed to be true could possibly also be rumours.
The author proposes that Cesare and Lucrezia were not his own children but his nephew and niece only. He makes convincing arguments against Lucrezia’s immoral and evil reputation and also submits that the Pope himself was not the depraved and sexual deviant that he was been portrayed as.
I found this a convincing story of the Borgia family, while still full of power hungry individuals and suspicious actions, it tries to weed out the impossible and stick to the reasonable at the same time as detailing the history and practices of the era to bring many of the supposed terrible actions of the family into a different light.

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