The Borgias: FICTION BOOKS

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RECOMMENDED NOVELS ABOUT THE BORGIAS & ITALIAN RENAISSANCE

Members add your favourite book of fiction below and let other members enjoy your choice of books


Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror
by Gregory Maguire
Mirror Mirror

The Snow White fairytale re-imagined against the background of a country estate on a hill in Tuscany during the Italian Renaissance. Lucrezia Borgia is the wicked stepmother figure. Her brother, Cesare is also a character. The poem that prefaces the book is a fantastic summary of the bizarre depictions of the familiar characters in this unusual retelling.


Angelosdaughter


Madonna of the Seven Hills



Madonna of the Seven Hills
by Jean Plaidy
Madonna of the Seven Hills

Jean Plaidy will be a familiar name to many members. She wrote many historical novels, including books on the Tudors, Plantagenets, and French, Spanish and Italian rulers. Ms. Plaidy's books are accurate, well-researched and well-written, and this one is no exception.

Ms. Plaidy's book follows Lucrezia from her teenage years and her father's election as Pope. Lucrezia emerges as a very sympathetic character - young and fun loving, but also kind and considerate of others. She is a pawn in the power-games of her father and brother, first married to the unattractive Giovanni Sforza and falling in love with her father's chamberlain, Pedro Calderon, by whom she has an illegitimate child.

Lucrezia is devastated by the murder of Calderon at the hands of her brother Cesare. She finds happiness in her marriage to the young and handsome prince of Naples, Alfonso, only to have it snatched away by her brother...

Juliana-Angela


Light on Lucrezia



Light on Lucrezia
by Jean Plaidy
Light on Lucrezia

The sequel to 'Madonna of the Seven Hills' deals with Lucrezia's marriage to Alfonso d'Este and her life in Ferrara. Lucrezia seizes the chance to escape from Rome and the sinister machinations of Cesare to make a new life in Ferrara.

Lucrezia's charm and intelligence help her to win over the hostile Este family. Although her rough husband Alfonso is not her type, she takes comfort in her friendship with the poet Pietro Bembo and her relationship with her brother-in-law Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua, who falls in love with her, much to the fury of his domineering and snobbish wife Isabella.

Lucrezia faces further tragedy in the deaths of her children and the plotting of Alfonso's brothers, who vie for the affections of her cousin Angela, as well as the travails of her brother Cesare after her father's death.

Ultimately, Lucrezia succeeds in living down her wild past and her family's reputation to become much loved by her husband and the people of Ferrara. Her piety and charitable works earn her the nickname 'The Good Duchess'.

With the previous book, this is an excellent introduction to the History of the Borgias.

Juliana-Angela


The Borgia Bride



The Borgia Bride
by Jeanne Kalogridis
The Borgia Bride

Sancha of Naples, wife of the youngest Borgia brother and lover of Cesare Borgia.

The Borgia Bride is set in Italy 1492: Pope Alexander VI is elected. And so begins the Borgia reign of terror. Alexander murders, bribes and betrays to establish his dynasty. Every day, the River Tiber is full of new bodies. Sancha de Aragon, daughter of King Alfonso II of Naples, arrives in Rome newly wed to Alexander’s youngest son, Jofre. Their marriage protects Naples against the ambitions of the French King Louis and gains Spanish support for the Borgias. But Rome is very different from her beloved Naples. The debauchery of the Borgia inner circle is notorious. Sancha is no innocent however: she possesses an indomitable spirit which allows her to survive in the snakepit. The Borgia Bride is a sumptuous historical novel of passion, betrayal, scheming and incest, set in the Vatican during the 15th century, one of the most exciting, violent and also sensual times of European history.

Angelosdaughter


The Family
The Family
by Mario Puzo
The Family

The final novel of Mario Puzo depicts the lives of the Borgia clan; Rodrigo's rise to the Papacy, to Cesare's advancing military career, to Juan's sudden murder, and Lucrezia's splintered love life. Complete with all of the conflicts, rivalries and murders that the Borgias experienced, this literary classic is a must for all Borgia fans.

The book has a factual core, with fictional events used to create the unknown aspects of Pope Alexander VI, formerly Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, and his family's life. Many of its characters were real people, including Niccolò Machiavelli, Duarte Brandão and members of the Borgia family


The Borgias: Fiction Books - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
The Scarlet Contessa
by Jeanne Kalogridis
The Scarlet Contessa

The Scarlet Contessa by Jeanne Kalogridis (our wiki member) chronicles the life of Caterina Sforza, daughter of the Duke of Milan, who is married off to Count Girolamo Riario, the illegitimate son of Pope Sixtus IV. It is a marriage of convenience, money and power. The novel is told from the point of view of Dea, Caterina’s chief lady-in-waiting. She is a psychic and handy with the Tarot cards. Caterina uses her and her talents to her advantage. In her quest for power, she makes enemies of the Borgias (who have not yet risen to full power).


The Borgias: Fiction Books - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Sins of the House of Borgia
by
Sarah Bower
The Sins of the House of Borgia

The story is set in fifteenth-century Italy, where sex, scandal, and murder are masked by the glamorous riches of those in power. The scheming families of Rome rule Renaissance Italy and the grand ambitions of the Borgias stop at nothing. With rich descriptions and fascinating historical details, Bower recreates this world flawlessly in her compelling tale of a girl, Violante, who gets caught up with the wrong family. Having been seduced by the glittering debauchery of court, stunned by the secretive backdrop of bloodthirsty politics, and swept off her feet by the ruthless and handsome Borgia son Cesare, Violante slips into a poisonous web of drama and danger. But those who enter the House of Borgia are never quite the same when they leave— if they leave at all. Her passionate journey will test her heart and leave her the guardian of secrets she must carry to the grave.


submitted by borgiafan


Poison: A Novel of the Renaissance (Poisoner Mysteries)
Poison by Sara Poole
Poison

A Novel of the Renaissance
Poisoner Mysteries (Volume 1)

In the simmering hot summer of 1492, a monstrous evil is stirring within the Eternal City of Rome. The brutal murder of an alchemist sets off a desperate race to uncover the plot that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge Europe back into medieval darkness.

Determined to avenge the killing of her father, Francesca Giordano defies all convention to claim for herself the position of poisoner serving Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, head of the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy. She becomes the confidante of Lucrezia Borgia and the lover of Cesare Borgia. At the same time, she is drawn to the young renegade monk who yearns to save her life and her soul.
Navigating a web of treachery and deceit, Francesca pursues her father’s killer from the depths of Rome’s Jewish ghetto to the heights of the Vatican itself. In so doing, she sets the stage for the ultimate confrontation with ancient forces that will seek to use her darkest desires to achieve their own catastrophic ends.

-Macmillan website


Poison In The Blood: The Memoirs Of Lucrezia Borgia
Poison In The Blood:
The Memoirs Of Lucrezia Borgia
by M. G. Scarsbrook
Poison in the Blood

1497, Renaissance Rome:

As the teenage daughter of Pope Alexander VI, Lucrezia Borgia is a young noblewoman immersed in all the glamor of the Vatican Palace.

Yet after a brutal killing shocks the city, Lucrezia learns that a dark truth lies beneath the surface of the Papal Court: in their ruthless quest for power, her father and brother are willing to poison their enemies.

Her family are murderers.

After discovering that her new husband is next to die, Lucrezia struggles to help him escape from Rome before the assassins strike.

Against a barrage of political intrigues, papal spies, and diabolical tricks, Lucrezia uses all her wits to defy her family and save her husband from assassination.

But as tragedy looms ever closer, and her plans gradually fail, she finds herself confronting an enemy far more sinister than she ever imagined...


- submitted by M. G. Scarsbrook (wiki member)


The Borgias: Fiction Books - THE  BORGIAS   wiki
Assassin's Creed Renaissance
by Oliver Bowden


The original novel based on the Multi-Platinum video game from Ubisoft.

-submitted by RoyalDynasty666 (wiki member)


Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
by Oliver Bowden

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
by Oliver Bowden


This is a sequel to Assassin's Creed; Renaissance. Ezio, the master assassin, seeks to avenge the death of his uncle. Unbeknownst to him this will pit him against the Knights Templar.

-submitted by RoyalDynasty666 (wiki member)


unholy book of mischief

The Book of Unholy Mischief
by Elle Newmark
The Book of Unholy Mischief


Also known as The Chef's Apprentice. It is set in the time of the Borgias and has a chapter about them.


The Devil's Charter

The Devil's Charter
by Barnabe Barnes
The Devil's Charter

The subject is of blood and tragedy, murther, foul incest and hypocrisy'. In the sensational History of the Borgias, Barnabe Barnes found a theme tailor-made for the dark and lurid imaginings of the Jacobean stage. And then he spiced it up a little. This vigorous play was first performed by Shakespeare's company in 1607 and revived 390 years later in a semi-stage reading by Globe Education.
The Borgias: Fiction Books - THE  BORGIAS   wiki An interesting story, incorporating Borgia's and Queen Elizabeth The first. It flashes between modern day London to Elizabethan times. It sounds strange but it's good. Megmaniac.





The City of Man

The City of Man

A True Story of the Renaissance
by Michael Harrington

The City of Man

A trilogy based on a true story of the Italian Renaissance. This version bundles the three books - Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso - together as one.

Renaissance Florence celebrated its Golden Age during the late 15th century under Lorenzo de’ Medici, the Magnificent. This was the age of artists, philosophers, and poets like Leonardo, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Pico della Mirandola, Poliziano, and Machiavelli.

But a societal crisis was imminent by the century’s last decade. The Italian peninsula was surrounded and threatened by imperialist powers, trade declined and poverty increased in the face of obscene wealth. Avaricious popes made a family business of the Church, while floods, droughts, famines, and the plague combined to inflict an atmosphere of fear and anxiety.

As chaos loomed, an obscure Dominican friar arose to restore order. Fra Girolamo Savonarola was a charismatic preacher and prophet who urged religious and political reform. His mission was to transform his corrupt and decaying society into St. Augustine’s mythical City of God. At the height of his short reign he orchestrated the infamous Bonfire of the Vanities, riding a wave of popular discontent to become the most influential religious, political, a
nd cultural figure of the age. The Savonarolan theocratic republic left its indelible mark on the face of Florence, Italy, and Western history.

The City of Man is the dramatic story of this preacher’s fantastic rise and tragic fall, symbolizing a critical juncture in the conflict between church and state in the Christian world. More dramatized history than historical fiction, the story integrates the art, religion, and politics of this glorious period.

Young Niccolo Machiavelli,
as he develops his new political philosophy, provides the counterpoint to Savonarola. Their momentous clash illuminates the transition from the Age of Faith to the Age of Reason, heralding the birth of our modern age.

Formatted for the Kindle, the digital version of The City of Man incorporates special features to explore the world of Renaissance Florence, including maps, family trees, art images, dozens of internal and external hyperlinks to biographies and historical events on Wikipedia, an extensive glossary, and selected scene index.


Saving Mona Lisa
Saving Mona Lisa back

Saving Mona Lisa
A Novel

by Michael Harrington

Saving Mona Lisa

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” -Leonardo da Vinci

Saving Mona Lisa is the story of Leonardo da Vinci and two of his apprentices clashing over the ultimate fate of a painting that had achieved great renown soon after everyone thought it was finished...everyone, that is, except Leonardo.

On September 24, 1513, Leonardo da Vinci recorded in his journal that he was departing for Rome, via Florence. For the previous two years there is no detailed record of his activities and only sketchy evidence of his whereabouts. We know that sometime after December 1511 he left Milan and moved to the Villa Melzi in Vaprio d’Adda, a small town on a river about a half-day’s ride east. Here he and his bottega were hosted comfortably by the Count of Vaprio, father of Francesco Melzi, Leonardo’s youngest apprentice.

Eight years previously, Leonardo had been residing temporarily in his native Florence, where he was commissioned to paint a portrait of a wealthy merchant’s young wife. This portrait, called La Gioconda and known to us as Mona Lisa, exercised a strange hold on the artist. He refused to finish it or surrender it to its rightful owner, keeping it close, as one would a mistress. Apparently, this obsession baffled everyone who knew of it.

Recounted through the eyes of the youthful Francesco, the following story of the aging artist and his muse is set during the last few months of his hiatus at the Villa Melzi.

***The Kindle version of Saving Mona Lisa is programmed for easy reader navigation and includes short bios of the principal characters, maps, historical Afterword, Italian glossary, and over 30 illustrations and photographic images of Leonardo’s most important works.


The Ground is Burning

The Ground is Burning
by
Samuel Black
The Ground is Burning

Seduction, betrayal and murder: the true art of the renaissance. Cesare Borgia, Niccolo Machiavelli and Leonardo da Vinci - three of the most famous, or notorious, names in European history. In the autumn of 1502, their lives intersect in a castle in Italy's Romagna. In this hugely intelligent and entertaining novel, Samuel Black tells the true story of these men who, with different tools - ruthless ambition, unstoppable genius and subtle political manipulation - each follow an obsession to attain greatness and leave a lasting mark on the world. And at the centre of this court of intrigue and deception is Dorotea Caracciolo, a young noblewoman abducted by Borgia who has become his lover - and his secret agent. Their story begins in hope and fear and ends in bloodshed, deceit and triumph. Along the way, there are battles and romances, lavish parties and furtive stranglings. And out of this maelstrom will emerge the "Mona Lisa" and "The Prince".


Lucrezia Borgia by John Faunce

Lucrezia Borgia
by John Faunce
Lucrezia Borgia by John Faunce (2003)

Her contemporaries painted her as an incestuous, conspiring villainess. History has deemed her a hapless political pawn. Now screenwriter and first-time novelist Faunce allows Borgia to speak for herself in this extravagant first-person narrative of Borgia's life in late 15th-century Italy. The child of Pope Alexander VI and a former *****, Borgia is separated from her mother at an early age and raised in the Vatican by her imperious, corrupt father. Her arranged marriage to Count Giovanni Sforza ends abruptly as Giovanni flees Rome for his life (a victim of the pope's ruthless political maneuvers) just as her love for him begins to blossom. With her virginity declared "miraculously" intact, Lucrezia is forced to marry again, this time to one of Italy's richest heirs. As her brother Cesare and the Borgia family name gain political influence, Lucrezia comes to fear her sibling, all the more so after she and her husband, Alphonso, are viciously attacked by assassins in Cesare's employ. Cesare's subsequent actions incite her to even the score. Faunce gives Borgia the voice of a bitchy but self-possessed modern teenager ("What was I thinking? The hell with Cesare. The hell with my impotently sentimental, girly tears, self-pity and dramatization"), which has the stylishly funny appeal of a show on the WB network. It's not as effective, however, for anchoring a historical epic; the political intrigue and scandals tend to run together, narrated in the same relentless pitch of high drama. By the novel's end, when Borgia is in self-imposed exile in a convent, readers may feel like they could use a rest as well.

Available to download







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