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Archive - Group Reads > Oct/Nov GR (Italy): The Borgia Bride by Jeane Kalogridis

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message 1: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
And the winner is.....We will start on or about October 1st, or as usually happens, a little before or after. Hope everyone enjoys this one.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Ok so I'm looking for this book :)


message 3: by Jennifer, Group Founder/Mod #1 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 726 comments Mod
So glad you're all going to read this one. I really enjoyed it :)


message 4: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
And I think Colleen has finished it already, too. I am always last, lol.

I was thinking, for those of you who voted for Elizabeth and Leicester, maybe we could do two group reads, or another buddy read since so many people also voted for that one. What do you think?


message 5: by Rosalie (new)

Rosalie Sambuco | 20 comments I read The Borgia Bride A Novel by Jeanne Kalogridis a few weeks ago and loved it. I was reading The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner and enjoyed comparing the two books. I am looking forward to discussing this books with others.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Lyn I agree that maybe you should nominate 2 books for group reads, because like you said sometimes there are some of us who have read the book.


message 7: by Jennifer, Group Founder/Mod #1 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 726 comments Mod
That sounds like a great idea, Lyn. Like Everyone's Choice does. Although it's going to up the 'pressure' level a little. ;)

I'm still reading E&L and it's a great book.


message 8: by Allie (new)

Allie (themusingsofabookjunkie) | 63 comments I read the Borgia Bride about 6 months ago. I am looking forward to participating in the dicussion and refreshing my memory. P.S. This was a superb book!


message 9: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
I loved this book, put me so in the mood for the new Showtime series... can't wait for it to come out!


message 10: by Kate. (new)

Kate. | 174 comments Ive got it to read. Lets see how far i get !
Cant wait for the new show


message 11: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
Jennifer, I just meant for this time around since they were originally tied. I would think two on a regular basis would be too much to keep up with, lol.

Sorry


message 12: by Jennifer, Group Founder/Mod #1 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 726 comments Mod
Stop apologizing! lol


message 13: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (last edited Sep 24, 2010 09:01AM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
So - for anyone who has already read the Borgia Bride and is looking for something to read, I am setting up a Buddy Read topic for our second place book, Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics by Sarah Gristwood. Feel free to participate in either read and discussion or both if you would like (or neither if that suits you, too. Group Reads are not required, lol)


message 14: by Jennifer, Group Founder/Mod #1 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 726 comments Mod
You're so cute :)
Thanks for setting it all up


message 15: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
Has anyone started reading this one yet? I am planning to read it later this month, but as usual, I am behind in my reading.


message 16: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 73 comments Lyn M wrote: "Has anyone started reading this one yet? I am planning to read it later this month, but as usual, I am behind in my reading."

I'm going to start reading it in the next day or two, I'm finishing up a read in another group first.


message 17: by Jennifer, Group Founder/Mod #1 (new)

Jennifer (jennifertudor) | 726 comments Mod
How's everyone making out with this one? As I'm sure I've said before, I read it and followed it up with The Last Boleyn: A Novel by Karen Harper. The timeline was great, even though they had nothing to do with one another. There was mention of similar historical people (Da Vinci, for one) and things in both. I'd recommend reading that one next if you haven't done so yet :)


message 18: by Rosalie (new)

Rosalie Sambuco | 20 comments I need to correct my entry of Sept. 22. I read The Devil's Queen A Novel of Catherine de Medici by Jeanne Kalogridis and enjoyed it very much. I have just started The Borgia Bride A Novel by Jeanne Kalogridis . Because of another "senior moment" I had these books mixed up. I am truly enjoying The Borgia Bride. It was a good choice for this group read.


message 19: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 73 comments I'm about a third of the way through and while the story itself is pretty good, I have to vent about one issue: the OCR (character recognition) in the Kindle book is TERRIBLE. "I" is constantly typed as a "1" - "God" was written as "Cod" at one point, I just noticed a random "z" thrown in a sentence for no good reason. It's extremely distracting and I'm half tempted to contact customer service and return it. It's completely unprofessional.

The only comment I have on the novel itself so far is that, having read The Devil's Queen, I feel like Sancha is the same character as Catherine de Medici was, which is kind of disappointing because it suggests the author doesn't know how to write a different type of main character.


message 20: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 64 comments I should be starting this one in two or three days, can't wait to join you all!


message 21: by Robin (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 73 comments I'm half way through now and really enjoying it. It's really interesting to see the Borgias from Sancha's point of view. I'm liking it much more than Devil's Queen.


message 22: by Darkpool (new)

Darkpool | 61 comments Should have it from the library in a couple of days. I really need to finish my current reads before I start this one though.


message 23: by Kate. (new)

Kate. | 174 comments I just watched the trailer for the new show and cant wait.I have 4 books on the go but to hell with it im going to squeeze it in from today !!

Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItLou9...


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I've started this, I'm still in the very beginnings but already finding myself not wanting to stop reading!


message 25: by Robin (last edited Oct 14, 2010 02:25AM) (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 73 comments I just finished it - I really liked it! One thing that bugged though is in the Afterword (and this may contain *spoilers* so stop reading now if you don't want to know), the author says historians don't know who poisoned Alexander and Cesare but from what I've read, historians aren't 100% sure they were even poisoned to begin with. This is a summary of what I read in "The Borgias and Their Enemies":

Firstly, there had been many fevers and deaths in the city in the weeks proceeding Alexander's death so illness and/or death of two more weren't exactly unusual. The Ferrarese ambassador even claimed it was not surprising Alexander and Cesare had fallen ill because "all the papal officials are in the same condition".

Also, the host of the "fatal" dinner in question, Cardinal Adriano Castellesi, took ill the day after the dinner but Alexander and Cesare did not until a week later. Poison was suspected (and there was much speculation about who the poisoner was) but never confirmed. And in my opinion, if they were poisoned, I'm not convinced it happened at the said dinner. What kind of poison takes a week to kick in? Given the timeline, I think it's more likely that Castellesi unknowingly had a virus which he gave to Alexander and Cesare at the dinner. If the virus had an incubation period of about a week, it would explain why Castellesi fell ill first and Alexander and Cesare a week later. A virus going around Rome would also explain the many other deaths at the time.

Furthermore, Cesare was actually ill prior to Castellesi's dinner - he had stomach pains and an irritation of the skin on his face which was so bad that he wore a mask to the dinner. Alexander himself declare the cause of his own illness was due to the "putrid air" of the heat wave they were experiencing. That again suggests a deadly virus was going around the city.

So there's a lot of factors to consider and not all of them point directly to poison. I don't mind Kalogridis taking liberties with the facts in her novel (which she does do a LOT) but in the Afterward, she really needs to get her facts straight. Claiming that historians don't know who poisoned the pope and his son suggests to readers that historians are positive they were indeed poisons when poison is only one of the possibilities historians have considered. She also claimed Lucrezia's incest was factual but from what I've read, there's no real evidence of that and they may have just been rumors spread by the Borgia's many enemies.

But as far as the actual novel goes, I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down.


message 26: by Darkpool (new)

Darkpool | 61 comments Niecole wrote: "I've started this, I'm still in the very beginnings but already finding myself not wanting to stop reading!"

Argh! Just picked it up from the library today... perhaps I'd be best to wait until the weekend before I start then, rather than run the risk I'll want to stay up all night reading it tonight!


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Haha I felt that way last night, my eyes were closing on me but I forced myself awake to read more!!! :)


message 28: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
So glad you all are carrying on without me!! The last few weeks have been really bad for a number of reasons, but I am back home and good now. I hope to start this one soon and will definitely let you all know what I think of it when I get there!


message 29: by Thalia (new)

Thalia | 64 comments I have the advantage, with this book, of walking into it largely uneducated about this history. My passion is the Tudors but being as it's contemporary with this novel there is some periphial history that crosses over. Hence my particular interest in this novel. I was promised it will be everything I love about my Tudors. I'm only about a third of the way into it and I find myself constantly asking "Is that true? Did that really happen?" I assume the gruesome personal museum of corpses is based on fact, it seems too weird to be made up. The attended wedding bedding of Sancha was ridiculous. Imagine your father watching that. They didn't really watch you preform the act did they? I thought they just saw you to bed! And finally the killing with the stiletto. Really?


message 30: by Robin (last edited Oct 19, 2010 08:50AM) (new)

Robin (ukamerican) | 73 comments Thalia wrote: "I'm only about a third of the way into it and I find myself constantly asking "Is that true? Did that really happen?" I assume the gruesome personal museum of corpses is based on fact, it seems too weird to be made up. The attended wedding bedding of Sancha was ridiculous. Imagine your father watching that. They didn't really watch you preform the act did they? I thought they just saw you to bed! And finally the killing with the stiletto. Really? "

Well, there is an Afterward in the back which is supposed to detail the facts which were included in the novel. It says the corpse museum and wedding bedding witnesses were true but does not mention the killing with the stiletto as fact so that's probably made up. But as I was ranting about before, I wouldn't put too much weight into what the author is claiming to be factual since she stated at least two things as fact when historians don't conclusively know the truth.

The details about Sancha's life I'm not sure of because I've only read a non-fiction book on the Borgias which I don't recall covering a huge amount about Sancha. I know the witnessing of the marriage consummation was tradition in some cultures at certain time periods. It was also featured in "Devil's Queen" by the same author (which took place not long after the Borgia's time) and I know in that case it did indeed actually occur. So it may well be true and if not, it's certainly believable.

As for the corpse museum, wikipedia sites this book as a source for that fact but I haven't read it myself: http://www.amazon.com/Civilization-Re...


message 31: by Darkpool (new)

Darkpool | 61 comments I have got to the point in this book where I'm reading it really slowly because I know it can only end badly. Why on earth do I ever read historical fiction? There are far too many unhappy endings in history!


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Mmmmm thats true Darkpool... no idea why.
The book didnt end all that badly.
I must say it got me interested in some other royal families


message 33: by Darkpool (new)

Darkpool | 61 comments Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised in the end, though there was some fairly dark stuff to get through on the way. I don't know if it was because I was expecting something really bad, but I felt the end of the book was a bit anticlimactic.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I felt that way about the end to... I felt that there was still so much to be said.

The book is very dark, scary in a way to think what they got up to!


message 35: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
I have Showtime and a few weeks ago there was a sneak peek of the new (coming in 2011) show The Borgias. Totally gives me goose flesh, chills, and now I am really chomping at the bit to watch this show!

Here is the link to the sneek peak:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s40diP...


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

What a great link!!!!!!
I hope it shows in South Africa as well, I think Irons is a great choice for Pope!!!!


message 37: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
Oh I know, Jeremy Irons is incredible and so far it looks like he is doing an excellent job playing Rodrigio Borgia.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

When watching the trailer he actually scared me!


message 39: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
Can you imagine how terrifying it would have been to be in or near that family? Gesh!


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I dont think I would have survived. Its amazing how Jofrey survived so long, he was one of the more weaker Borgias


message 41: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
I think the only reason he survived so long was because they didn't want to destroy him.


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

True...
The guy who plays Cesare is great for the part, just the way I imagined him


message 43: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
I know they seem to have done a good job casting. I notice in the sneak peek that Rodrigo mentions that Ceasre is the eldest, I thought there was another son that was the eldest that was the soldier.


message 44: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
We will probably find out when we read our books, Colleen.


message 45: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
Especially the non-fic one... buddy read Lyn?


message 46: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
Sure, but December is pretty tight for me. Can we do it in Jan?? If not, I will squeeze in this month.


message 47: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
January sounds perfect!


message 48: by Lyn (Readinghearts), The mod of last resort/Mod #3 (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 1550 comments Mod
You're on!


message 49: by Colleen, The Enforcer/Mod #2 (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 345 comments Mod
I can't wait until we get these books in the mail!


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