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Blood & Beauty: The Borgias
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Archive: Other Books > Blood & Beauty / Sarah Dunant. 2.5 stars

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LibraryCin | 8012 comments 2.5 stars

This book follows a fictional account of the Borgias. Rodrigo became pope in the late 1400s. He had four(?) children, including Cesare and Lucrezia. History has not looked upon them kindly. Rodrigo had a number of mistresses. Cesare, though becoming a cardinal (for a while) also slept around. There were rumors of incest among them, and murders happened. This book opens when the conclave is happening just as Rodrigo will be voted in as the new pope and Lucrezia is 13 years old and soon to be married.

How was this even acceptable for a pope!? How did he get voted in? (Hmmm, missed in in my reading of the book, but the summary tells me he bought his way to the papacy.) And for a cardinal (Cesare)? All the sleeping around. Even if there wasn’t any incest going on, Rodrigo’s children made it obvious he wasn’t celibate. Was this not a requirement of priests and higher ups in the Catholic Church at the time!? Anyway, I just didn’t find most of the book very interesting. I found the parts that focused on Lucrezia the most interesting and paid most attention to that, otherwise I was often skimming.

Jgrace | 2703 comments I agree completely. This was definitely not her best book.

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7097 comments I really loved this book. I am reading In The Name of the Family right now, which picks up where this left off, and am enjoying this one too. It covers a lot more about Lucrezia too.

In reply to your question LCin-the Mid-evil Catholic Church was a vipers nest full of nasty men. I was raised R. Catholic and trust me, what she writes is pretty accurate. Of course, we were not taught any of this-but it is there in the history of the church.

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