Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Italy

Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Italy

by Sarah Bradford


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The very name Lucrezia Borgia conjures up everything that was sinister and corrupt about the Renaissance—incest, political assassination, papal sexual abuse, poisonous intrigue, unscrupulous power grabs. Yet, as bestselling biographer Sarah Bradford reveals in this breathtaking new portrait, the truth is far more fascinating than the myth. Neither a vicious monster nor a seductive pawn, Lucrezia Borgia was a shrewd, determined woman who used her beauty and intelligence to secure a key role in the political struggles of her day.

Drawing from a trove of contemporary documents and fascinating firsthand accounts, Bradford brings to life the art, the pageantry, and the dangerous politics of the Renaissance world Lucrezia Borgia helped to create.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143035954
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/25/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 457,001
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.97(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Sarah Bradford is a historian and biographer. Her previous books include Cesare Borgia, Disraeli, Princess Grace, George VI, Splendours and Miseries: A Life of SacheverellSitwell, Elizabeth: A Biography of Her Majesty the Queen, America’s Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Lucrezia Borgia.

Table of Contents

Author's Note
List of Illustrations
Genealogical Tables showing the Borgia, Este and Aragona Families

The Scene
Cast of Principal Characters

Part One: The Pope's Daughter 1480-1501
1. The Pope's Daughter

2. Countess of Pesaro

3. The Borgia Renscent

4. The Tragic Duchess of Bisceglie

5. Turning Point

6. Farewell to Rome

Part Two: Duchess to Ferrara 1502-19
7. The Road to Ferrara

8. A New Life

9. The Heavens Conspire

10. The Dark Marquis

11. Duchess of Ferrara

12. The Congiura

13. Horrors and Tears

14. The Years of War, 1509-12

15. Lucrezia Triumphant

16. The Last year of Tranquillity

17. The End


Source Notes

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Bradford’s zest for this era is contagious." —USA Today

"A lively view of Lucrezia, capturing the glamour and tragedy of her story." —The Wall Street Journal

"This is also a tender and intimate account of a misunderstood and passionate woman." —Elle

Customer Reviews

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Lucrezia Borgia 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
SaraPoole on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Long vilified as a murderess, conspirator and partner to incest, Lucrezia Borgia was overdue for a reappraisal by a serious historian able to blast past the stereotypes. Sarah Bradford does exactly that by dint of meticulous research revealing the fascinating if turbulent life of the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. Used by her father to advance his political ambitions, Lucrezia endured an early marriage that was annulled under questionable circumstances, the brutal murder of her second husband, and the destruction of her own reputation at the hands of her family¿s enemies. She emerged from all that as a woman of strength and grace, finding a degree of stability and even contentment in a third marriage that made her Duchess of Ferrera. Bradford brings Lucrezia and her world vividly to life, in the process raising provocative questions about the need to re-evaluate the role of women in general throughout history.
Meggo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a well researched, interesting look at the life of one of history's most misunderstood women. The detail about the period adds richness and colour. The book ends a bit abruptly with Lucrezia's death, but it's still a good read for all that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TessSH More than 1 year ago
I know the author put a tremendous amount of research in this book. The storytelling is somehow lacking despite all the details she unearthed. There just wasn't any real life drawn into the character that made Lucrezia. Perhaps that is a problem for anyone attempting to bring life her story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read.See a different side of the Pope's infamous daughter..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JurgenSchulze More than 1 year ago
Bradford is an undisputed master of thorough research, demonstrationg that a virtue can be a vice at the same time. Countless and long citations interrupt the flow of the book, and the reader invariably struggles to keep up. Bradford's attempt to portrait L. Borgia as the historical personality that she was rather than to follow popularist misconceptions has turned into a forced march through the bog of quotations and endless descriptions of "who is who", or "how-does-he/she-relate-to-others", often confined to insertions in main sentences rather than separate sentences, thus requiring enormous stamina to stay on track. A grammatical "tour-de-force". Not designed for the light or faint hearted, Bradford has managed to turn a fascinating historical character into a stress-causing personality, often shying away from drawing conclusions by giving preference to quotations from third party correspondence. Yet, it it worth reading because Bradford, perhaps unintentionally, works hard to provide all the pieces to the puzzle, leaving the final picture barely unfinished. Not a light winter's night reading - it requires serious effort and determination. Perhaps a few additional portraits of LB would have been useful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cronwms More than 1 year ago
Any student or casual reader of the Renaissance will venture into the worlds of numerous Italian families. The Medici, Sforza, Gonzaga, Strozzi, Orsini and Este heritages run deep and widely populate the Renaissance. Sarah Bradford's "Lucreza Borgia" ties together the chronolgies and escapades of these families as the Borgias -- from Popes to Duchesses -- interact, intermarry and collide with them. Bradford provides meaning and clairity to how these nobles conspired, loved and battled with each other to maintain statis or gain upon each other durning the richness, politics and religon of the Renaissance. Lucreza's story of love, marriages, deaths and intrigue inside the Italian courts is a faciinating account. This one woman crosses all the lives and history of the period. And her connection to it all illuminates the personalities and times in which she lived.
sunnhauntr More than 1 year ago
Most of the facts given in this book conflict with contemporary sources, and birthdates and relationships between the key players are quite confused. Even so, it's a quick and entertaining read, for a romanticized tale about the Borgias, but far too much stock was given to the accounts of Guicciardini, in his History of Italy. As you read this book or any other about the Borgias, it should be kept in mind that a lot of the rumors about incest were generated by Giovanni Sforza and his family, after his marriage with Lucrezia was annulled on grounds that he was impotent (though the consummation was witnessed, and he later had children).
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not a biography of Lucrezia Borgia. It is a general look at what is going on around her. In one very short paragraph the author tells us that Lucrezia, not quite 20 at the time, administered the Vatican. And everybody thought she did a good job. Say what?!? A girl running the Vatican! And who is everybody? But instead of saying one additional word about what she did, what decisions she made, who she met with, we get a description of her father and brother's activities. As Duchess we are told she administered her husband's territories. That is it. Entire statement. Then we get pages on pages of her husband and his brother's fights, along with the information that she stayed strictly out of it. Lucrezia is incidental to the story this author is telling and there is not enough attention paid to her to warrent selling this as a biography. I'd like my money back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Catches a fish and puts it in a bucket and continues
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*she watches Leonidas curiously*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im going off to chang into clean clothes d be at camp she mutting something about thinking and obama
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Let's go eat something!" She makes a pathway to the shore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She sighed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the canoeing lake. The nymphs tend to hang out ere and punish anyone who litters, whether it's in the lake or not. There are eight canoes tied to by the docks, and if you're in favor of the nymphs, they may help you in canoe races.