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Prince of Foxes
Samuel Shellabarger
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Prince of Foxes

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  423 ratings  ·  41 reviews
This is a tale that is set in Italy of the 1500`s.
Hardcover, 433 pages
Published 1947 by Little, Brown and Company
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Prince of Foxes is a rare book that succeeds both in creating a dramatic story with compelling characters as well as perfectly capturing the tone of the age.

The author's background as a historian shines through his work, and his love of Renaissance Italy is palpable. More interesting to me was how it contrasted with his treatment of more medieval thoughts and practices that Italy was leaving behind- so evenhanded and oblique is Shellabarger's approach that at final analysis he does not seem a
An old-fashioned adventure story, this book features a Marty Stu who may be implausibly gifted, but is vastly entertaining to watch. Andrea Orsini can do absolutely anything--paint, sing, duel, command a military force, seduce anyone, brawl, even negotiate politics with the Borgia Pope and his conquering son.

He starts as a cynical captain/politician with an assassin sidekick who may be even more fun to watch than he is. There are faked miracles, possibly real miracles, saints, politics, romance
Epic is a great word to describe this piece of literature. It sort of reminded me of The Three Musketeers, only less bravado and sword play, with more mind games and politics.
Watching the development of the main character was never boring, and the plot had so many little (and sudden) twists and details that I was constantly entertained. The characters were well developed, as were their motives and corresponding actions.
I will warn that this is one of the stories that might bore some readers, so
One of the best books I have ever read! Written by the Author of "Captain From Castille" and set in Italy in 1500. A swashbuckling adventure filled with twists and turns that keep you guessing. The main character, Andrea Orsini, is a brilliant man, whom I grew to love as he transformed throughout the novel. It wasn't a book I was able to read in a day or two. It was wonderfully long - so that you really feel a sense of the people's lives. I was sad when it ended.
This reading experience is one for the ages. I found the book without a back or cover page, had NO idea what it was about, and sat down and read, enthralled. Throughout I was amazed by the writing and the story, but I kept on waiting for the disappointment. I thought that I found it at the end, but instead it was a beautiful tweak that brought everything together perfectly.
Elijah Kinch Spector
An incredible swashbuckler in which the hero has just about no use for honor, honesty, or anything of the sort. He gets by on his wits at the dawn of the renaissance, and though he can fight just fine, he detests being dragged into one.

I read a library copy years back, but finally got a copy for myself. Can't wait to read it again.
Prince of Foxes is an excellent historical novel set it Italy during the time of Cesare Borgia. This is even better than Shellabarger's The Captain of Castile, another great novel.
I really enjoyed reading Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger. (Thanks Semicolon for the recommendation! It wasn't easy to track down, but it was so worth the search!) This historical novel was originally published in 1947. It is set circa 1500 during the Italian Renaissance. It features glimpses of four Borgias: Pope Alexander VI, Cesare, Lucrezia, and Angela--a cousin. The hero is an ambitious but not ruthless young man initially in the service of Cesare Borgia. His name is Andrea Orsini. He ...more
I love this book.

If you love classic swashbucklers, be prepared to miss some sleep--Prince of Foxes is hard to put down.

This is historical fiction at its best, in the vein of Rafael Sabatini. Set in the time of Machiavelli's The Prince, it tells the story of a peasant who passes himself off as an aristocrat and sets about making his way in Renaissance Italy--but some complications change his plans.
A great read if you like classic historical fiction.
Eunice Muir
Nov 30, 2014 Eunice Muir added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy historical novels and are interested in the Renaissance
Recommended to Eunice by: The Tyrone Power movie
Excellent rollicking adventure in Renaissance Italy. This book came as a double with A Captain from Castile.
This was one of the best books I have ever read! If you are a fan of historical adventure stories (think Hornblower, Beau Geste, Northwest Passage, Ivanhoe, to mention but a few) you will love this book. The historical detail was completely correct and compelling, but the true strength of the book is in the characters and the rollicking good story. It does not flag for an instant and is great up through the very last line, which is really saying something. The movie with Tyrone Power was very go ...more
I remember a few years ago this book was obtainable for free. The publication date was years and years ago, the author was long dead so there shouldn't have been a copyright issue.

Now a lot of the free ebook site that used to be around have folded or have SFA content and i cant find a copy anywhere on the web. Pretty disgusted with greedy companies getting extensions on copyright which should have run out years ago. Unless it's going to fund a children's hospital, would never ever purchase such
Julie Davis
I absolutely love this author's historical fiction and this is my favorite of his books. This description doesn't do it justice but it is a beginning.
Set in Renaissance Italy, this classic of American popular fiction is the story of Andrea Orsini, a peasant boy who rises to perform delicate political, military, and romantic missions for Cesare Borgia.
I'm reading it for A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast where Scott and I will discuss it in a few weeks.
Frederick Smeigh
Just reread the Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger, one of the best historical fiction novels I have read. It is set in the Renaissance period during the time of Cesare Borgia. Andrea Zeppo, an Italian peasant masquerades as Andrea Orsini from the highly respected Italian noble Orsini family and becomes a captain in Cesare’s army as he attempts to unify Italy and thwart the French and Holy Roman Empires attempt to manipulate Italian politics.
Rachael Smith
This is a fantastic read with sophisticated and complex characters. This book should appeal to anyone who enjoys the more languid, involved story telling style of the classics. I re-read this one about every year and have worn out two copies.
While this book is older than I am, I found it a most enjoyable story!
It follows Andrea Orsini through old world Italy. I enjoyed the intrigue, planning and plotting. The characters are rich and realistic. It was interesting to see the ties and repeated associations between wonder who were truly allies, and who would stay or become enemies.
Well worth finding a copy and reading it!
Lisa James
For an OLD book, it was VERY interesting. Set in the era of the Borgias, it was told from the standpoint of Andrea orsini, which was actually an alias he used, his true name being Andrea Zoppo, son of a humble blacksmith, who rose to become the man who defeated Cesare Borgia & helped pave the way for a united Italy. FULL of twists & turns, it's an entertaining, if bloody at times, tale.
Helka Ermala
Entertaining enough, but Andrea Orsini is a character bit too perfect to be really interesting.
This book started me on the history of Italy, at least as fascinating as that of Germany to those interested in the development of nation-states in Europe. A good look at the Borgias, too. All Shellabarger's books are written a little too much on the surface for me, but they all illustrate the culture and era they're set in quite adequately.
What a great book! The author was a genius at placing his characters in history and having it follow real events, -down to the month they happened. It has a great love story, but also twists and turns with government and relationships between different kingdoms and people. There is a lot of excitement and wit. You must read this!
Maureen Ulrich
This is probably one of my favourite reads of all time. I read it when I was in high school - along with Shellabarger's other historical fiction epics - and I read it again several years ago, when I was able to locate a copy (via the internet) at a used book store. Shellabarger's characters are magnificent.
Love this book. I found it in the 25 cent rack at the local public library about five years. This book is an intelligent adventure read set in the time of Borgias. Lots of intrigue. After reading this book I went and hunted down all of his other works. :)
Oct 28, 2007 Carole rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of adventure, historical fiction
This is an old book (published in 1947) about a young man in renaissance Italy. It is an entertaining adventure, well written, more literary than much of today's historical fiction. Reminds me of Dumas.
Scott D.
Discussed with Julie D. on the A Good Story is Hard to Find Podcast:
Episode 13: Prince of Foxes.
Jul 05, 2008 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Ann by: my father
Shelves: swashbuckling
This is quite possibly my very favorite book of all time. Wonderful history, swashbuckling adventure, redemption and romance. The hero has a rare sort of character growth that I especially love.
A great flow through out the book. A very enjoyable read. one with many twist and turns that will keep you interested till the end. great characters that enrich the experience.
My sister recommended it to me because it takes place in Italy and she was right when she said I would like it! So hard to put down.
Jake Langthorn
A terrific story, and incredibly well written. A special joy to read if you enjoy language and words - and learning something.
The Cute Little Brown-haired girl
Another written by my great uncle. Good stuff!! Another great historical fiction. This is one that men would like to read.
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Samuel Shellabarger was an American educator and author of both scholarly works and best-selling historical novels. He was born in Washington, D.C., on 18 May 1888, but his parents both died while he was a baby. Samuel was therefore reared by his grandfather, Samuel Shellabarger, a noted lawyer who had served in Congress during the American Civil War and as Minister to
More about Samuel Shellabarger...
Captain From Castile The King's Cavalier Lord Vanity Captain From Castile &  Prince of Foxes Tolbecken

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