Press Release: The House of Borgia
‘A tale of greed, nepotism, assassination and relentless jostling for power’
Greedy, lascivious and unashamedly corrupt, the Borgia name has come to define the politics of Renaissance Italy. Christopher Hibbert’s thrilling history, published here in series with Folio’s best-selling edition of The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici, records their violent and dissolute rule.
This new edition from The Folio Society – the first to be illustrated – boasts gilded page tops, pictorial endpapers from the Vatican’s Borgia Apartments as well as 24 pages of colour plates that include portraits of the ambitious Pope Alexander VI and his daughter Lucrezia, famed for her beauty and her ill-fated husbands.
Rodrigo Borgia, better known as Pope Alexander VI, bribed his way to the papacy and was ruthless in furthering the aims of his illegitimate children. His son, Cesare, promoted, on his father’s orders, to the position of Cardinal aged just 18, was also a notorious lothario, professional soldier and murderer. So infamous was Cesare’s fight for power that he directly inspired Machiavelli’s The Prince. Haughty Juan, a year younger, ‘could be seen swaggering about Rome in gorgeous attire’ before his corpse was pulled from the Tiber in 1497 (his untimely death often attributed to Cesare). His sister, Lucrezia, whose closeness to her male relatives inspired many lurid rumours, became an intelligent, music-loving femme fatale, but was both admired and vilified in equal measure.
Hibbert’s colourful portrait of this notorious family is filled with anecdotes and testimonies from contemporary authors that both vindicate the Borgia’s reputation and remove the layer of myth that surrounds them.
Bound in blocked cloth with a blocked spine label. Set in Centaur with Arabesque ornaments. 280 pages. 24 pages of colour plates. Printed endpapers. Gilded tops. Slipcase. 9˝ x 6¾˝.
UK £39.95 US $69.95 Can $79.95 Aus $79.95
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