Blood And Beauty

Hardcover | July 16, 2013

bySarah Dunant

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A visceral, epic novel that challenges what we know about history’s most dynamic and maligned Renaissance family, the Borgias

Rooted in the energetic, brutal and corrupt world of 15th-century Italy, Blood and Beauty opens with Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, clever and charismatic, buying his way to the Papal crown. In this he is not unusual. Neither is the fact that he has illegitimate children. What does mark him is his blood; he is a Spaniard in a country run by established Italian families. To thrive, even to survive, he must create his own dynasty using the papacy and his family as the building blocks of power. His son Cesare is his most brilliant pupil. Fearless and calculating (later immortalized in Machiavelli’s The Prince), he provides the driving energy and the muscle. The Pope’s daughter, Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is their marriage tool. Just twelve when the novel opens, she is to have one dynastic union annulled and a second—beloved—husband murdered by her own brother to make way for a third strategic marriage—all before the age of twenty. Hers is a journey from pawn to political player.

Using the high-wire tension of a political thriller, this portrait of power and its personal costs is the most thrilling family saga to come out of Italy since The Godfather. The Borgias emerge not as the poisoning sexual monsters of popular myth, but in all their ruthless determination and complex humanity.

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From the Publisher

A visceral, epic novel that challenges what we know about history’s most dynamic and maligned Renaissance family, the BorgiasRooted in the energetic, brutal and corrupt world of 15th-century Italy, Blood and Beauty opens with Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, clever and charismatic, buying his way to the Papal crown. In this he is not unusual. ...

SARAH DUNANT is the author of the international bestsellersThe Birth of VenusandIn the Company of the Courtesan, which have received major acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Her earlier novels include three Hannah Wolfe crime thrillers, as well asSnowstorms in a Hot Climate,TransgressionsandMapping the Edge. She has two daughters a...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:528 pages, 9.41 × 7.24 × 1 inPublished:July 16, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443406449

ISBN - 13:9781443406444

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Customer Reviews of Blood And Beauty

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant I am a fan of historical fiction and Sarah Dunant is one of the best in this genre. This novel is about the Borgia's in 15th century Rome. The book reads like action adventure - fast paced, corruption, treachery, intrique, romance and is generously padded with well-researched fact. I liked it and would recommend it.
Date published: 2015-05-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Blood & Beauty Easy & intriguing summer read
Date published: 2014-06-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Blood and Beauty Such family intrigue within the papacy. Now to wait for the next installment.
Date published: 2014-04-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Historical detail abounds The Borgia family has come down to us in history as sexually depraved gluttons with poison on their mind. With this interpretation, you will find more history and less unsubstantiated gossip. With details that are so real, you feel like you have entered the 15th century, thanks to Dunant. And isn't that an amazing feat? I quite enjoyed my time travel.
Date published: 2013-08-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Uninteresting Blood and Beauty was boring. I found that the book was all very descriptive and little dialogue. It felt like Dunant was trying to write a history book, but with a bit of dialogue in. And not a good history book, either! I didn’t find it terribly engaging and the character of Cesare, surely one of the most fascinating men in history, to be almost... watered down. Yes, there are hints of incest between him and Lucrezia, but it felt tacked on. And the Infant Romanus is generally agreed to be the child of Lucrezia. If he had been Alexander’s son, surely he would have acknowledged him. Dunant’s book also reminded me vaguely of Jean Plaidy’s two books on Lucrezia’s life. In fact, it was just a little too similar, but Plaidy’s books were much more engaging. They both even end at the same point. Read the Plaidy books instead. Yes, there’s no sex in her books, but I can find better sex scenes in Cosmo than in Blood and Beauty.
Date published: 2013-07-18

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Editorial Reviews

“The Machiavellian atmosphere-hedonism, lust, political intrigue-is magnetic. . . . Readers won’t want the era of Borgia rule to end.”