The Borgias: Power and Fortune

Pegasus. Aug. 2019. 400p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781643130835. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781643131832. HIST
Strathern (The Medici) examines the rise and fall of one of history’s most infamous families, directing particular attention to the lives of Pope Alexander VI and two of his favorite children, Cesare and Lucrezia. In addition to delving into the corruption that has become synonymous with the Borgia name, the author details the contemporary figures and events occurring around them, successfully placing stories within the context of the time to highlight the villainy prevalent throughout Europe during the emergence of the Renaissance. Readers unfamiliar with this period of history may find the first few chapters confusing with its slew of names, but they will quickly catch on as Rodrigo Borgia begins his rise to Pope Alexander VI. With several quality books dedicated to the Borgias, such as G.J. Meyer’s The Borgias, history buffs have a plethora of avenues to explore, but Strathern’s comprehensive work positions him at the top of the pack.
VERDICT Highly recommended for readers interested in the drama surrounding the Borgias that spurred a number of scandalous rumors that continue to circulate today.
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