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Blood and Beauty: A Novel About the Borgias [Sarah Dunant] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF. As an acclaimed author of Italian historical novels, it was only a matter of time until Sarah Dunant turned her attention to the notorious Borgia. In her evocation of this scene in “Blood and Beauty,” her novel about the notorious Borgias, Sarah Dunant sends papal guards rushing to save.

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I work for the publisher of this book, which is why I have read it before it’s out. It is a consummate study of how power works and how it corrupts.

Blood & Beauty: The Borgias by Sarah Dunant

Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Twelve years old when the novel opens, hers is a journey through boood marriages, and from childish innocence to painful experience, safah pawn to political player. View all 5 comments. I may or may not watch it. Dunant’s characters read like sketches a historian might reconstruct from letter fragments and secondhand evidence about people long dead, not living people with a rich emotional life, as characters in fiction need to be for a novel to be compelling.

This last point wasn’t much helped by the long sections of historical context and fact-dumping that were pervasive throughout the chapters, bogging down many parts of this book. Why can’t they get along? What do you think is so fascinating about this particular family and the era in which they lived?

But I feel like this book fails as a work of fiction. There is that part where he jams his fingers up a saggy-tittied, varicose-veined Caterina Sforza’s hooha while she’s on the rag, however. It’s testament to the quality of the storytelling that Dunant is able to splice the historical and political elements into the human without either feeling tokenistic. Mostly, this is because I’ve heard through the grapevine that most of it is uniformly terrible.

Product details Paperback Publisher: English Choose a language for shopping. I’m debating whether or not I should make a video review on this book because I have such mixed feelings about it.


Your email address will not be published. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I look forward to reading it.

Blood and Beauty is the historical story of the Borgia family, the head of which ascends to the papacy early in the novel. In this first installment, we meet the Borgia family, bllood as the father, Rodrigo, is being elected pope.

I don’t know how good other novels about them are, but I’ll take this one as the gold standard.

If you want to know about the family, you will enjoy this. It seems that Dunant wanted to reverse the damage done by centuries of slander so badly that she tamed and declawed him – both of them, actually.

I find it generally more difficult to follow what is happening especially in the beginning and they very clearly expose flaws in writing though, this book was well written so that is not a particular concern here. I’ve read many NF books on this family and have been waiting for some HF books to come out. In the 10 years covered by Blood and BeautyBorgia Rome has to negotiate with the armies of the French king Charles VIII, and the great ruling families of divided Italy — “a sack of spatting cats that has learned nothing from the past” — through diplomacy and marriage, poison and charm.

Do you feel she truly found herself by the end of the book?

From different bood, too, all of the novels in her earlier trilogy The Birth of VenusIn the Company of the Courtesanand Sacred Hearts spoke of the influential power of the family during the Italian Renaissance. Complex, perceptive, and erudite, and with magnificent, strong women: Sure, Lucretia has suffered from bad press for some centuries, but the 20th century revisionism of her character as Victim has shoved her too much in the opposite direction. I was also disappointed by the way that the romance between Lucrezia and her Spanish lover was developed or not.

There are a host of other names. Stay tuned for further additions to the list. Which is to say the bar for pleasing me as a reader was pretty low. Cesare appears capable of anything, willing to murder in cold blood, ready to rape, to go back on his word, to lie, to cheat, to steal — he is not someone to have as enemy but nor is he a trustworthy ally.


Blood and Beauty

The easier the read, the more work has saeah done. Bliod he contemplates his future, he hesitates only briefly on the obstacles that lie ahead…” Those words are mine since I can’t quote from the ARC, but you get the idea. Dunant manages to get the balance right between the more prurient bits, and an explanation of both the times and the individuals involved. It’s a subtle work with a large scope, and I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read a physical copy. Lucrezia Borgia is followed from the age of 14 through her first two marriages, and I watched her develop with a sort of fascinated horror.

Buy the selected items together This item: This was a tumultuous time in Italian history and the Borgias were strong and fascinating characters, with ruthless ambitions and enormous sexual appetites. So you can trace slander against the B,ood emerging from one conversation and then sliding like slime into the public domain. There seems to be renewed interest of late in all things Borgia. And how do you feel differently having read the novel? Mar 11, Gretchen rated it it was amazing Shelves: I thought this was mostly about Lucrezia and how she navigates life as a Borgia.

As an example of the somewhat wanting in characterization that was prevalent, Sforza is defined by his irritable bowel syndrome. Sarah Dunant’s Lucrezia is dujant a sagah shrinking violet as she has often been depicted. Even when I am in despair that I cannot do them justice, I am in awe of their presence.