Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “De scharlaken stad” as Want to Read:
De scharlaken stad
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

De scharlaken stad

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  244 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Against the backdrop of the Italian Wars Giovanni Borgia meets both Machiavelli and Michelangelo as he tries to discover the identity of his true parents.
Mass Market Paperback, Rainbow Pocket, 327 pages
Published 2009 by Rainbow Pockets (first published 1952)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about De scharlaken stad, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about De scharlaken stad

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 566)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This novel is set against the backdrop of the sixteenth century Italian wars. The story starts in 1525 (although there are flashbacks to earlier years), and ends just after the Sack of Rome in 1527. It is told from the point of view of several people, but the main protagonist is Giovanni Borgia who does not know who his parents are, and whose life is shaped by his insecurities.

Michelangelo Buonarotti
The famous artist Michelangelo is portrayed as a tortured genius, totally absorbed in his wo
Jun 15, 2013 Sanne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like literary historical fiction
"Borgia, it's like the warning sign on the door of a pestilence house."
orginal Dutch: "Borgia, dat is als het waarschuwend teken op de deur van een huis waar de pest woedt." (p. 14)

- - - - -

Finished! What a wonderful read. It's been a long while since I read anything by Haasse, but this reacquaintance reaffirms why she is my favorite author: interesting historical topics, meticulous research, and beautiful writing. What more could a hf fan want?

The Scarlet City: a novel of 16th century
I picked this up because I was interested in the time period--16th century Renaissance Italy, during the so-called "Italian Wars". I liked it very much, although much of it was dark and depressing. The protagonist was Giovanni Borgia, the so-called "infans Romanus". He could have been the illegitimate son of one or more of the more famous Borgias, Cesare, Lucrezia or Pope Alexander VI.

The novel follows Giovanni through his life first as a youngster shuffled from court to court. At age 30, in the
I'm not very fond of historical novels, intrigues and relationships among the nobleman. I even barely stared enjoying the popular Game of Thrones series and i literally don't have a special interest in the history of Italy either. However, I loved the writing of this book as well as the storytelling from the perspective of several characters.
Hans Wigman
Were I asked to name some of the best Dutch authors, one of the first would be Hella Haasse. I've read quite a few of her books and usually I find them riveting, contemporary and historical novel alike. Recently I finished her great historical novel 'Het woud der verwachting' dealing with the life and times of Charles of Orleans, turning with high expectations to 'The scarlet city'. It deals with Rome just after the downfall of the Borgia family and the main protagonist is a young man trying to ...more
Vicki Kondelik
The Scarlet City by Hella S. Haasse takes place in early 16th century Rome, at a time when Italy was divided into many city-states, whose alliances were constantly shifting between the invading French and Spanish armies. Against this background, Haasse tells the story of Giovanni Borgia, an illegitimate son of one of the notorious Borgias (who should be familiar to fans of Showtime’s TV series The Borgias). But which one? Giovanni grows up believing he is the son of Cesare Borgia, but when the f ...more
Ferda Nihat Koksoy
HELLA S. HAASSE, Yazar (Hollanda Edebiyatının "Büyük Hanımefendisi"), FL:1951, TR:2011, Helikopter Yayın, Çeviren: Ayşen Anadol, 334 sf.
**Romanın arka planında, Rönesans döneminde yaşananlar (1495-1527) ve Roma'nın yağmalanması ile biten İtalyan Savaşları yer alır ve adı geçenlerin tümü (Michelangelo, Machiavelli, G.Borgia, vd.) gerçek kişilerdir.**
Kitaptan Alıntılar:
-Yo, ne ölmekte olan söndürebilir ateşini yaşayanın,
Ne de sonsuz zama
Eileen Iciek
Enjoyed, but not as good as In a Dark Wood Wandering A Novel of the Middle Ages by Hella S. Haasse. ...more
The life of Giovanni Borgia, very popular these days. As usual with Haasse she presents a very erudit picture of the time: the vatican court, the italian imbroglio. And the main characters are beautifully brought to life. The main theme is the wrestling of these characters with their upbringing, their place in life and ofcourse the sense of life. Giovanni Borgia is victim of his obsessions, his counterpart Vittoria is a much wiser character.
This all seems very interisting, but I must confess I d
Nara Zacarias
Yo, que no tengo ni pasado ni futuro en el sentido habitual de estas palabras, no me sentí en ninguna parte tan completo, tan libre, como cuando combatí en Navarra y el Delfinado y luego en Lombardía y ante Pavía. Si no llevar conmigo esta maldita inquietud, esa sensación de que sólo puedo justificar mi existencia mediante logros espectaculares, viviría incluso contento como mercenario, sin más posesiones que mis armas y mi soldada, sientiéndome uno del montón, siempre subordinado a las órdenes ...more
Un 10 como libro por su estructura y tempo, su rigor, su poética (la tiene según qué personaje toma la palabra en la narración), por la construcción/ recreación de sus personajes principales (esa Lucrecia Borgia duele por todos los costados), por el misterio que subyace como premisa de la historia, la lectura psicológica del personaje del bastardo de los Borgia (el hilo conductor) en su boca y mediante él he leído algunas de las mejores aproximaciones al patetismo del origen, de la carga de la f ...more
authors and painters are both part of public domain.

once i saw hella in the street.
she was old and no glamour was to be seen.

the story in this book is about the time of michelangelo in rome.
he is portraid like a moviestar.

once i met a dutch poet and painter.
what struck me deep was the humbleness of the man.

being part of public domain is being part of projection.
question is made hella a true story?
don't think so.
Op zich is het onderwerp van dit boek wel interessant. Ik vind wel dat het erg langdradig gebracht wordt. Je kunt het hoe en waarom van alle bijfiguren niet echt volgen. Waarschijnlijk zijn ze allemaal een puzzelstukje in het ontwarren van het raadsel van Giovanni Borgia's afkomst. Maar het wordt er niet duidelijker op.
Wel een mooi historisch beeld van het begin van de 16e eeuw en de strijd tussen paus en keizer Karel V.
Mooi historisch gegeven: hoe verloopt het leven van een bastaardkind (uit de Borgia familie?) in het Italie van het begin van de 16e eeuw.
De eerste hoofdstukken Wikipedia nodig gehad om de hoofdpersonen;( het boek wordt geschreven vanuit het perspectief van meerdere hoofdpersonen, een mooie stijl.) en alle historische gegevens te kunnen plaatsen Daarna een mooi meeslepend verhaal.
All in all I found this book a hard nut to crack. I very much enjoyed Haasse's style but at the same time I wonder if the way she presents the story isn't making it a lot more complicated than it has to be...

Full Random Comments review
I agree with someone else who reviewed this book, not knowing anything about 16th century Italy. Half the time I had no clue who they were talking about, but I completely loved the way this author writes and would read more of her books if they were available.
Couldn't quite get past the first few pages, her writing style is very slow and her use of comma's is bad. Didn't finish reading it
Enjoyed this so much, I looked for other titles by Haasse at my local library. Sadly none available.
Ingewikkeld door de vele personages en gebeurtenissen. Maar ook een mooi tijdsbeeld en het verhaal boeit.
A bit of a mystery about the protagonist, and bloody story of Charles V and the sacking of Rome. Very bloody.
A great literary exploration, chapters written from Vittoria Colonna's point of view especially.
Nienke Kuipers-sleutjes
Niet doorheen te komen, teveel namen, te weinig actie. Very tough nut to crack...
Enjoyed this very much and read it while in Florence.....
Italy in the renaissance, living characters, i loved it.
Flo marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2015
Jtsuruoka marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Janice marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2015
Nate marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2015
Jeanette is currently reading it
Jun 30, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 18 19 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Master of Verona (Star-Cross'd #1)
  • Eline Vere
  • De zwarte met het witte hart
  • Karakter
  • Paravion
  • Van de koele meren des doods
  • Camera Obscura
  • Het verboden rijk
  • De gelukkige klas
  • Snikken en Grimlachjes
  • Roads to Berlin
  • Ik heb altijd gelijk
  • Het stenen bruidsbed
  • Triomf van de Verschroeide Aarde (Trilogie over de 100 jarige oorlog, #2)
  • De reis van de lege flessen
  • Een Nagelaten Bekentenis
  • Venetian Stories (Venetian Stories, #1)
  • Hersenschimmen
Hella S. Haasse (1918 - 2011) was born in Batavia, modern-day Jakarta. She moved to the Netherlands after secondary school. In 1945 she debuted with a collection of poems, entitled Stroomversnelling (Momentum). She made her name three years later with the novella given out to mark the Dutch Book Week, Oeroeg (The Black Lake, 1948). As with much of her work, this tale of the friendship between a Du ...more
More about Hella S. Haasse...
Oeroeg In a Dark Wood Wandering: A Novel of the Middle Ages Heren van de thee Sleuteloog Transit

Share This Book

“Dag na dag, een deel van iedere nacht, zaten wij naast elkaar als vreemden. Glimlachende maskers en levenloze opgevulde pronkgewaden: markies en markiezin van Pescara.” 1 likes
More quotes…