Lisa's Reviews > The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1519

The Borgias and Their Enemies by Christopher Hibbert
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's review
Dec 28, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: nonfiction-history
Read in January, 2012

After returning from 10 days in Romes, I eagerly wanted to read about this family that accumulated I saw in the Borgias Gallery. It was ornate. It was plentiful. A couple of pieces were amazing. Several works I had seen in my school year history and literature books.

Knowing that our family was likely spending the 2011 holiday in Rome, I tried to watch all the episodes of The Borgais on PBS, but got turned off by all the melodrama. Having taught an Italian history course, I was familiar with real drama that occurred between powerful families and various alliances and betrayals made with the Papacy. I was hoping for more insight into building of this powerful house: the good and the bad.

Whereas the PBS series erred on melodrama, the book is too dry. It is a linear telling. When I scanned the chapter headings, it seemingly is inviting the reader the ride along with the patriarch into his family and the papacy. It materializes, instead, to be a blow-by-blow account in a spectators' game. I learned nothing of the relations between Sons. The role-bending acts of his Daughter plays in her Father's promotions, are listed without shining any light onto the Daughter.

Honestly, I got bored about 2/3 into the book, so I sailed on through the final pages in a perfunctory manner.

Good factual timeline, but no heart.

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