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Madonna of the Seven Hills (Lucrezia Borgia #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,410 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
The most beautiful woman in Rome, Lucrezia Borgia, was born into a family—and a destiny—she could not hope to escape . . .

Fifteenth-century Rome: The Borgia family is on the rise. Lucrezia’s father, Pope Alexander VI, places his illegitimate daughter and her only brothers, Cesare, Giovanni, and Goffredo, in the jeweled splendor—and scandal—of his court. From the Pope’s aff
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published (first published 1958)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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MV Mariani
I really really wanted to like this book. I really did!

After seeing the show about their family, I wanted to immerse myself in a juicy book about it, especially about Lucrezia, and I believe that's the reason I even reached the end of this book in the first place.

I was starved for a story about them, and as any starved person, at first, I devoured what was in front of me without giving it much thought but then, when I slowly became full, I realized how dull it was.

I kept on waiting for Lucrezi
Kate Sherrod
This is the first Jean Plaidy book I've ever read that did not concern itself with a Queen of England. I was expecting the reading of it to be a stranger experience.

But Jean Plaidy is always Jean Plaidy, writing as if she's telling a fairy tale but not sparing us any of the unsavory or unpleasant details. So of course she had to take on the infamous Lucrezia Borgia.

I've noticed a tendency, in Plaidy, to build the tale around the most popular anecdote about her subject known at the time, whether
Oct 29, 2011 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of the Borgia family taking place in Italy during the fifteenth century. I read this story because of my interest in the Borgias after the episode on TV. The novel focuses on the lives of the father (who became Pope Alexander VI) and his four illegitimate children. Most of the story centers around his daughter Lucrezia. It is a story of power, luxury, murder and heartbreak.

Jean Plaidy has written over 100 historical fiction books under several names (many as Jean Holt.) There are
Katherine 黄爱芬
Sebelum membaca buku Borgia ini, saya sudah menonton film miniseri the Borgia yg dilansir tahun 2011. Maka saya tertarik utk membaca bukunya. Beruntung saya membaca buku karya Jean Plaidy ini, yg terdiri dari 2 buku.

Dalam buku ini dibahas sejak kelahiran Lucrezia Borgia dimana dia sudah jadi permata hati keluarganya, diperebutkan kasih sayangnya antara abang-abangnya yang saling iri hati, Cesare dan Giovanni. Lucrezia digambarkan sbg gadis cantik, penurut dan selalu berusaha menyenangkan semua o
Nov 22, 2011 Dahlia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zaista ne znam kako bih ocijenila ovu knjigu. Mislila sam dati tri zvjezdice, ali onda pogledam kojim sam sve knjigama dala tri zvjezdice a puno su lošije. Dati četiri opet bi bilo previše. One stvari koje su mi se svidjele istovremeno bi mi išle na živce u nekim poglavljima.
Ali prije toga, evo ukratko o čemu se radi u knjizi. Za one koji ne znaju, „Madonna of the Seven Hills“ (na hrvatskom prevedena kao Gospa od sedam brežuljaka) govori o Lucreziji Borgiji, vanbračnom djetetu kardinala Rodriga
Pauline Montagna
As a schoolgirl I devoured Jean Plaidy’s novels. Her tales of intrigue and passion in high places were heady stuff for a girl attending a convent school. I longed to be one of Charles II’s mistresses, or live in Renaissance Italy. The books that remained with me most were her Lucrezia Borgia series. To a sheltered Catholic teenager, the ambitions and amorality of the Borgia pope and his family were shocking and titillating. Recently, I thought I might revisit Jean Plaidy and found second-hand co ...more
Jul 22, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because of the TV Series on the Borgias, I reread this and Light on Lucrezia Alsdo by Jean Plaidy. I believe anyone watching this series woud gain a lot by reading a Plaidy first. She lived from 1 Sept 1906 until 18 January 1993. Her real name was Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert. She wrote under many names (8-15). Over 31 novels were written as Victoria Holt and sold over 51 million copies and were gothic romances. She aso wote fiction as Philippa Carr that were set in historical times, though the ...more
Jan 24, 2011 Robin rated it really liked it
Once again, Plaidy's character assessment is what makes this book. Her characterization of all the characters, but particular Cesare and his relationship with Lucrezia, worked so well to bring them alive and allow us to understand them.

Plaidy's forward note which states "Only by judging the Borgias against their own times can they arouse our sympathy, and only if they arouse our sympathy can they be understood" is incredibly accurate, not just of this novel and the Borgias but of history in gen
Sep 25, 2009 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Plaidy and I am hooked! I will say it did take me longer than expected to really get into the book. But once I did, I didn't want to put it down. I am waiting for the 2nd book is this series to arrive in the mail! The Borgia family is very interesting! I read The Borgia Bride a few months ago and wanted to read more. I enjoyed this version of the Borgias maybe more than Kalogridis' perhaps because it doesn't seem as exaggerated. It is a quick read which was a nice change of pace for me ...more
Feb 21, 2016 Liza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Women of powerful families rarely have a say in their destinies, and Lucrezia Borgia is no exception. The only daughter born to Roderigo Borgia, later known as Pope Alexander VI, her life is not really her own. She is showered with love and affection from her brothers and father, and lives a rich life most envy. But soon Lucrezia's innocence is lost as her eyes are slowly opened to the way life will be. Married young to a man who will bring alliances and more power to her family, she only starts ...more
Oct 09, 2015 Imelda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is quite bad. I'm only 40 pages in, so if I change my mind later on I'll come back and revise this review. But so far I am shocked by the poor writing and characterization.

The book is entirely "told" instead of "shown," breaking the basic rule of writing. The following lines, from a moment when Lucrezia's father kisses her wrist, are typical: "He was always passionately sentimental when they were alone. He wanted to tell her of his love and be assured of hers." The author constantly de
Phil Syphe
The novel opens just before Lucrezia’s birth in 1480 and continues through to 1498. The core of the story is her relationship with her father and two of her brothers, and of those brothers’ mutual hate of each other. Yet they both love Lucrezia to an unnatural extent, competing for her affection from the day she’s born.

Must admit, I had no prior knowledge whatsoever about the Borgias, nor am I familiar with Italian history.

I decided to read this partly because I’d heard/read references to the B
Jul 06, 2015 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A good story, but drag down but a little too much telling rather than showing. However, I appreciate that Plaidy didn't use a lot of foreshadowing or irony that is all too easy to go overboard on in historical fiction.
Mar 29, 2011 Jacqi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Totally addictive thus far. Purchased for my Kindle - but I think this one is certainly a keeper - so I'll be ordering the actual book. Looking forward to the HBO/Showtime series now...

Changed this to FIVE stars - and I downloaded the next installment immediately to my Kindle...
Apr 27, 2016 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have noticed that whilst no historian shirks from bad-mouthing Roderigo or Cesare Borgia - women writers,in particular, tend to want to see Lucrezia as an ill-used daughter who turned to the bad because of the circumstances her family thrust upon her.
Jean Plaidy is no exception - I think she prefers to love her heroines and make her readers see them with a sympathetic eye. This is no bad thing in itself, and I confess her novels have probably influenced my lifelong impressions of many histori
Certainly more fiction than historical, I still loved every minute of this book. Plaidy herself makes an interesting point in her introduction to her work on the Borgias noting that we must judge the Borgias against their own time if they are to arouse sympathy and thus be understood in our modern period. Yes, the scandals and legends are outrageous and practically a parody of our current soap operas, but even the kernel of truth within them point to a time and place where to some extent might d ...more
Liesje Leest
Since I love historical novels, I was very surprised that I never heard of Jean Plaidy before. She has written so many books! I came across her name while browsing historical-fiction and decided to give her work a try.

Madonna of the seven hills was the book I chose. It was nice to read historical fiction about someone I know very little about. I did not know where the story would be going. I enjoyed the story a lot and will be reading part II soon. However I do have some negative comments to mak
[ book 1 of THE BORGIAS Series ]
Copyright 1958, 1974 by Jean Plaidy
Copyright renewed 1986 by Jean Plaidy
Penerbit : Elex Media Komputindo
Alih Bahasa : Eka Budiarti
Cetakan I : Februari 2013 ; 488 hlm

Nama Lucrezia Borgia merupakan daya tarik tersendiri bagi penggemar kisah sejarah. Bukan saja karena ia merupakan keturunan keluarga Borgia yang memegang kekuasaan serta mengendalikan pemerintahan melalui Vatikan, Roma, tetapi juga permainan intri
Debbie Young
Apr 06, 2013 Debbie Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read any of Jean Plaidy's books before and read this because it was nominated by a historical novelists' book group I belong to that focuses on historical novels. I have many friends and relations who have enjoyed her books so was interested to see what the fuss was about, especially now that, having been out of fashion for a while, her books have been reissued.

I found this a curious book. It reminded me partly of a high school history text book, carefully and elaborately explaining t
Sep 07, 2013 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin2013
What disturbs me most about Madonna of the Seven Hills is that Jean Plaidy bothered listing The Life of Cesare Borgia by Rafael Sabatini in her bibliography. If indeed she read the biography, she chose to disregard it completely. For this novel breaks all of Sabatini's rules. This novel thrives on the LEGENDARY sins of the Borgia family. It builds up this fantastical, sensational notion of what the family was like. The most sympathetically presented is, of course, Lucrezia.

Two of Plaidy's novel
Apr 28, 2011 Shoshanah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As soon as I realized this book had been released I was really looking forward to reading it. First it was written by Jean Plaidy, I've already raved about her over and over so I'll try to avoid doing that once again. Second it was about the Borgias family, and this would be my first time reading anything about them. I am happy to report back that I wasn't disappointed.

While the book follows the Borgiases from Pope Alexander VI to his 3 illegitimate sons, the focus is on his daughter Lucrezia. I
Sep 29, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Jean Plaidy's books. I read the first 10 books in her Plantagenet series and loved them; I will certainly return to and finish that 13 book series.

The Borgia family is quite the fascinating family. In fact, I even considered the name Lucrezia as one for my daughter. Maybe not the best thought, but it is a beautiful name.

Plaidy's writing is superb. She is a master at character development and immediately sucks you into the story. I have never been disappointed with her books. Al
Oct 20, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I became addicted to Jean Plaidy's books starting with this one. The history, the grandeur, the royal family dynamic and did function drew me in from the beginning and if you hand me one I her books, just know that you won't be able to talk to me for a day or so until I've read it through. Fabulous author!
Aug 19, 2015 Deb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It pained me to give a Jean Plaidy book 2 stars. I simply could not get into the story. I didn't feel that the book flowed the way her books usually do. The "action" of the book was very bland. Most of the book was the love of the Borgias by the Borgias! After Lucretia went into the convent to get away from her family, that is when the book started to improved. Unfortunely, that was near the end of the book.
Jul 05, 2011 Crystal rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I didn’t know much about the Borgia’s before reading this, and I had such a great time learning about them as I was reading this! Just like any other book by Plaidy, you can always count on her to tell a story in such an interesting way that you don’t even realize it’s based on history.

The Borgia’s are such an interesting family, I loved the dynamic Plaidy portrayed between the brothers and Lucrezia, as well as their father, who loves them more than anything in the world. Alexander is just as co
Same story as Borgia Bride, which I read first, but with less attention to the inner thoughts of Lucrezia. It touched on everyone's thoughts, instead of focusing on one person's perspective.
So I wasn't quite enthralled, but it wasn't bad.
Mar 01, 2014 L'aura rated it it was ok
Well-intentioned and well researched, it features some unlikely character portrayals and a dull prose. I would have liked it better, I think, had I not already read so many books about the Borgias.
Fran Fisher
Love that historical fiction. No wonder the Borgias make great fodder for drama. Jewels, sex, the pope's children, armies, battles, ring kissing. I can hear the dramatic chords as each scene plays out.
Angelic Zaizai

Baca buku ini berasa kaya nonton serial, dramatis, penuh intrik, seru
sayangnya ternyata bersambung T____T

Jujur aja, belum terlalu kenal dengan keluarga Borgia, keturunan Spanyol yang berhasil menjadi Paus di Vatikan
beuuuh, meskipun Paus, bukan berarti orang benar-benar suci looh... buktinya
doyan pere' booo... punya anak haram juga

karena masih buku pertama, jadi kebanyakan sih tentang pengenalan tokoh-tokohnya,
dan Lucrezia-nya ga terlalu jadi fokus di sini, baru akhir-akhir agak keliatan
Oct 05, 2013 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction because it fascinates me how authors try to get into the minds of real people and events and weave a story. But this was just not as engaging as Plaidy's other novels. Also, for some reason why I found the immorality and depravity interesting with other historical figures, for some reason I could not stomach it coming from the Vatican. Borgia really disgusted me and if even a fraction is true I cannot understand how the Catholic Church made it to this century. This is o ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 12, 2015 10:30AM  
  • The Borgia Betrayal (The Poisoner Mysteries, #2)
  • The Princess of Nowhere
  • The Scarlet Contessa
  • Lucrezia Borgia and the Mother of Poisons
  • Cesare Borgia: His Life and Times
  • The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1519
  • Sins of the House of Borgia
  • The Life of Cesare Borgia
  • Lucrezia Borgia
  • Murder of a Medici Princess
  • Pale Rose of England
  • Reign of Madness
  • Eleanor the Queen
  • The Courtesan's Lover
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
  • The Perfect Royal Mistress
  • By Royal Decree (Secrets of the Tudor Court, #3)
  • The Second Duchess
Eleanor Alice Burford, Mrs. George Percival Hibbert was a British author of about 200 historical novels, most of them under the pen name Jean Plaidy which had sold 14 million copies by the time of her death. She chose to use various names because of the differences in subject matter between her books; the best-known, apart from Plaidy, are Victoria Holt (56 million) and Philippa Carr (3 million). ...more
More about Jean Plaidy...

Other Books in the Series

Lucrezia Borgia (3 books)
  • Light on Lucrezia (Lucrezia Borgia, #2)
  • The Borgias

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