The Borgia Confessions

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The Borgia Confessions

The Borgia Confessions

  • Author : Alyssa Palombo
  • ISBN :
  • Category : Fiction
  • Publisher : St. Martin\'s Griffin
  • Pages : 432
  • Release Date : 2020-02-11

'Under Palombo’s skillful hand, the entangled world of the Borgias comes vividly to life, exposing the dark facets of class structure and the all-consuming greed that comes with ambition--and love." - Heather Webb, internationally bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris and Meet Me in Monaco During the sweltering Roman summer of 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has risen to power as pope. Rodrigo’s eldest son Cesare, forced to follow his father into the church and newly made the Archbishop of Valencia, chafes at his ecclesiastical role and fumes with jealousy and resentment at the way that his foolish brother has been chosen for the military greatness he desired. Maddalena Moretti comes from the countryside, where she has seen how the whims of powerful men wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary people. But now, employed as a servant in the Vatican Palace, she cannot help but be entranced by Cesare Borgia’s handsome face and manner and finds her faith and conviction crumbling in her want of him. As war rages and shifting alliances challenge the pope’s authority, Maddalena and Cesare's lives grow inexplicably entwined. Maddalena becomes a keeper of dangerous Borgia secrets, and must decide if she is willing to be a pawn in the power games of the man she loves. And as jealousy and betrayal threaten to tear apart the Borgia family from within, Cesare is forced to reckon with his seemingly limitless ambition. Alyssa Palombo's captivating new novel, The Borgia Confessions, is a story of passion, politics, and class, set against the rise and fall of one of Italy's most infamous families--the Borgias.

Vivacious Sancha of Aragon arrives in Rome newly wed to a member of the notorious Borgia dynasty. Surrounded by the city's opulence and political corruption, she befriends her glamorous and deceitful sister-in-law, Lucrezia, whose jealousy is as legendary as her beauty. Some say Lucrezia has poisoned her rivals, particularly those to whom her handsome brother, Cesare, has given his heart. So when Sancha falls under Cesare's irresistible spell, she must hide her secret or lose her life. Caught in the Borgias' sinister web, she summons her courage and uses her cunning to outwit them at their own game. Vividly interweaving historical detail with fiction, The Borgia Bride is a richly compelling tale of conspiracy, sexual intrigue, loyalty, and drama.

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For fans of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir, bestselling author C. W. Gortner effortlessly weaves history and drama in this captivating novel about one of the world’s most notorious families. Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized fifteenth-century Renaissance Italy, and Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival? With the ascension of the Spaniard Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI, a new era has dawned in Rome. Benefitting from their father’s elevation are the new pope’s illegitimate children—his rival sons, Cesare and Juan, and beautiful young daughter Lucrezia—each of whom assumes an exalted position in the papal court. Privileged and adored, Lucrezia yearns to escape her childhood and play a part in her family’s fortunes. But Rome is seductive and dangerous: Alliances shift at a moment’s notice as Italy’s ruling dynasties strive to keep rivals at bay. As Lucrezia’s father faces challenges from all sides, the threat of a French invasion forces him to marry her off to a powerful adversary. But when she discovers the brutal truth behind her alliance, Lucrezia is plunged into a perilous gambit that will require all her wits, cunning, and guile. Escaping her marriage offers the chance of happiness with a passionate prince of Naples, yet as scandalous accusations of murder and incest build against her, menacing those she loves, Lucrezia must risk everything to overcome the lethal fate imposed upon her by her Borgia blood. Beautifully wrought, rich with fascinating historical detail, The Vatican Princess is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice. What results is a dramatic, vivid tale set in an era of savagery and unparalleled splendor, where enemies and allies can be one and the same, and where loyalty to family can ultimately be a curse. Praise for The Vatican Princess “In a literary exploration riven with Shakespearean quantities of murder, lies, deceptions, and treachery, Gortner’s narrative gains veracity with his atmospheric exploration of fashion, architecture, and art on the stage of ‘loud, filthy, and dangerous’ Rome. Gortner has imagined Lucrezia Borgia’s life from a feminist perspective.”—Kirkus Reviews “[Gortner] has invested his novel with impressive historical detail that is woven neatly into the threads of the story, and his afterword and references offer excellent insight.”—Historical Novels Review “Assiduously researched and expertly crafted, this novel takes readers inside the treacherous world of the Borgias—one of history’s most dysfunctional ruling families—and brings to life the sympathetic and freshly imagined character of their leading lady, Lucrezia. This unholy plunge into Rome’s darkest dynasty is wholly engrossing.”—Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of Sisi: Empress on Her Own “The world of Renaissance Italy is vividly brought to life—I’m captivated by this knowledgeable author’s take on the controversial Borgias.”—Alison Weir, New York Times bestselling author of Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen “Impressive research, a lush background, and deft characterization of these turbulent times make for a fascinating read.”—Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I

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In the vein of Sarah Dunant's New York Times bestseller, Blood and Beauty, Sarah Bower reveals the burning heart of the Borgia family. A Notorious Duke An Infamous Duchess An Innocent Girl Violante isn't supposed to be here, in one of the grandest courts of Renaissance Italy. She isn't supposed to be a lady-in-waiting to the beautiful Lucrezia Borgia. But the same secretive politics that pushed Lucrezia's father to the Vatican have landed Violante deep in a lavish landscape of passion and ambition. Violante discovers a Lucrezia unknown to those who see only a scheming harlot, and all the whispers about her brother, Cesare Borgia, never revealed the soul of the man who dances close with Violante. But those who enter the House of Borgia are never quite the same when they leave-if they leave at all. Violante's place in history will test her heart and leave her the guardian of dangerous secrets she must carry to the grave. What Readers Are Saying "Glittering, gorgeous, compelling, and stunning." "A richly satisfying historical novel. It deserves prizes."

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How much power can one family wield before they're corrupted? In this first volume of his "Celebrated Crimes" series, Alexandre Dumas tackles the notorious Borgais. Originally from Spain, this noble family’s political influence was felt across Europe through much of the 15th and 16th centuries. But their name also became synonymous with scandals and murder. "The Borgais" is a fictionalised account of the family’s machinations. These include Rodrigo Borgia and his reign as Pope Alexander IV, when rumours abounded of orgies at the Vatican. A must read for history buffs, and any fans of "The Borgias" television series starring Jeremy Irons. Alexandre Dumas (1802 - 1870) was a hugely popular 19th century French writer. Born of mixed French and Haitian heritage, Dumas first rose to prominence in Paris as a playwright, but later gained international fame with his historical fiction. Often co-authored with other writers, these stories wove together swashbuckling adventure, romance, and real events from France’s past. Among the best known are "The Three Musketeers", and its sequels "Twenty Years After", and "Le Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years Later". Set across four decades, this trilogy follows the rise of the dashing D’Artagnan—from hot-headed soldier to trusted captain under Louis XIV. Dumas’ other novels include "The Count of Monte Cristo" and "The Black Tulip". His works have been adapted into more than 200 movies, including The Man in the Iron Mask starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

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“A brilliant achievement.” —Boston Herald “Entertaining…profound….A novel for adults that unearths our buried fascination with the primal fears and truths fairy tales contain.” —Christian Science Monitor Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author who re-imagined a darker, more dangerous Land of Oz in his New York Times bestselling series The Wicked Years, offers a brilliant reinvention of the timeless Snow White fairy tale: Mirror Mirror. Setting his story amid the cultural, political and artistic whirlwind of Renaissance Italy—and casting the notorious Lucrezia Borgia as the Evil Queen—Maguire and Mirror Mirror will enthrall a wide array of book lovers ranging from adult fans of Harry Potter to readers of the sophisticated stories of Angela Carter.

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Before the Corleones, before the Lannisters, there were the Borgias. One of history’s most notorious families comes to life in this riveting bestseller, as the House of Borgia crosses paths with a young diplomat named Niccolò Machiavelli. “Full to the brim with vivid historical details both gory and beautiful.” —Library Journal It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womanizer and master of political corruption, is now on the papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two—already three times married and a pawn in her father’s plans—is discovering her own power. And then there is his son Cesare Borgia, brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with Machiavelli that gives the Florentine diplomat a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What he learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince. But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasingly maverick behavior, it is Lucrezia who must navigate the treacherous court of Urbino and another challenging marriage to create her own place in history. Bestselling novelist Sarah Dunant employs her remarkable gifts as a storyteller to bring to life the passionate men and women of the Borgia family, as well as the ever-compelling figure of Machiavelli, through whom the reader will experience one of the most fascinating—and doomed—dynasties of all time.

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Giovanni de Medici (Pope Leo X), the son of Lorenzo, the Magnificent, was a corrupt, fiscally irresponsible, decadent homosexual whose quest to restore the Medici family to its former glory nearly bankrupted the Catholic Church. He waged an indefensible war in a failed attempt to build a family empire. He used torture freely. While Leo was obsessed by the perceived threat from Islam, he was blind to the far graver threat to the Church posed by Luther and other reformers disgusted by its institutional rot. Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in direct response to Leo's excesses and the Reformation began on Leo's watch. Leo lived at the zenith of the Italian Renaissance and his life was intertwined with those of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Savonarola, Machiavelli and the Borgia. The Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on Leo concludes: "The only possible verdict on the pontificate of Leo X is that it was unfortunate for the Church." Confessions of an Infallible Man is historical fiction.

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The startling truth behind one of the most notorious dynasties in history is revealed in a remarkable new account by the acclaimed author of The Tudors and A World Undone. Sweeping aside the gossip, slander, and distortion that have shrouded the Borgias for centuries, G. J. Meyer offers an unprecedented portrait of the infamous Renaissance family and their storied milieu. They burst out of obscurity in Spain not only to capture the great prize of the papacy, but to do so twice. Throughout a tumultuous half-century—as popes, statesmen, warriors, lovers, and breathtakingly ambitious political adventurers—they held center stage in the glorious and blood-drenched pageant known to us as the Italian Renaissance, standing at the epicenter of the power games in which Europe’s kings and Italy’s warlords gambled for life-and-death stakes. Five centuries after their fall—a fall even more sudden than their rise to the heights of power—they remain immutable symbols of the depths to which humanity can descend: Rodrigo Borgia, who bought the papal crown and prostituted the Roman Church; Cesare Borgia, who became first a teenage cardinal and then the most treacherous cutthroat of a violent time; Lucrezia Borgia, who was as shockingly immoral as she was beautiful. These have long been stock figures in the dark chronicle of European villainy, their name synonymous with unspeakable evil. But did these Borgias of legend actually exist? Grounding his narrative in exhaustive research and drawing from rarely examined key sources, Meyer brings fascinating new insight to the real people within the age-encrusted myth. Equally illuminating is the light he shines on the brilliant circles in which the Borgias moved and the thrilling era they helped to shape, a time of wars and political convulsions that reverberate to the present day, when Western civilization simultaneously wallowed in appalling brutality and soared to extraordinary heights. Stunning in scope, rich in telling detail, G. J. Meyer’s The Borgias is an indelible work sure to become the new standard on a family and a world that continue to enthrall. Praise for The Borgias “A vivid and at times startling reappraisal of one of the most notorious dynasties in history . . . If you thought you knew the Borgias, this book will surprise you.”—Tracy Borman, author of Queen of the Conqueror and Elizabeth’s Women “The mention of the Borgia family often conjures up images of a ruthless drive for power via assassination, serpentine plots, and sexual debauchery. . . . [G. J. Meyer] convincingly looks past the mythology to present a more nuanced portrait.”—Booklist “Meyer brings his considerable skills to another infamous Renaissance family, the Borgias [and] a fresh look into the machinations of power in Renaissance Italy. . . . [He] makes a convincing case that the Borgias have been given a raw deal.”—Historical Novels Review “Fascinating . . . a gripping history of a tempestuous time and an infamous family.”—Shelf Awareness

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The New York Times bestselling and legendary author of Helen of Troy and Elizabeth I now turns her gaze on Emperor Nero, one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in history. Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar’s imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman—or child. As a boy, Nero’s royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son’s inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead. While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina’s machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero’s determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become—an Emperor who became legendary. With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy’s ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.

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Before the Tudors, there were the Borgias. More passionate. More dangerous. More deadly. From the author of Poison, called "stunning"* and "a fascinating page-turner," comes a new historical thriller, featuring the same intriguing and beautiful heroine: Borgia court poisoner, Francesca Giordano. In the summer of 1493, Rodrigo Borgia, Alexander VI, has been pope for almost a year. Having played a crucial role in helping him ascend the chair of Saint Peter, Francesca, haunted by the shadows of her own past, is now charged with keeping him there. As court poisoner to the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy, this mistress of death faces a web of peril, intrigue, and deceit that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance. As dangers close in from every direction, Francesca conceives a desperate plan that puts her own life at risk and hurls her into a nightmare confrontation with a madman intent on destroying all she is pledged to protect. From the hidden crypts of fifteenth-century Rome to its teeming streets alive with sensuality, obsession, and treachery, Francesca must battle the demons of her own dark nature to unravel a plot to destroy the Borgias, seize control of Christendom, and plunge the world into eternal darkness. *Booklist +Lauren Willig

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Another Fabulous Art History Thriller by the Bestselling Author of Oil and Marble, Featuring the Master of Renaissance Perfection: Raphael! Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling is one of the most iconic masterpieces of the Renaissance. Here, in Raphael, Painter in Rome, Storey tells of its creation as never before: through the eyes of Michelangelo’s fiercest rival—the young, beautiful, brilliant painter of perfection, Raphael. Orphaned at age eleven, Raphael is determined to keep the deathbed promise he made to his father: become the greatest artist in history. But to be the best, he must beat the best, the legendary sculptor of the David, Michelangelo Buonarroti. When Pope Julius II calls both artists down to Rome, they are pitted against each other: Michelangelo painting the Sistine Ceiling, while Raphael decorates the pope's private apartments. As Raphael strives toward perfection in paint, he battles internal demons: his desperate ambition, crippling fear of imperfection, and unshakable loneliness. Along the way, he conspires with cardinals, scrambles through the ruins of ancient Rome, and falls in love with a baker’s-daughter-turned-prostitute who becomes his muse. With its gorgeous writing, rich settings, endearing characters, and riveting plot, Raphael, Painter in Rome brings to vivid life these two Renaissance masters going head to head in the deadly halls of the Vatican.

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Rose Code comes the continuing saga of the ruthless Borgia family that holds all of Rome in its grasp, and the three outsiders thrust into their twisted web of blood and deceit… As the cherished concubine of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI, Giulia Farnese has Rome at her feet. But after narrowly escaping a sinister captor, she realizes that the danger she faces is far from over—and now, it threatens from within. The Holy City of Rome is still under Alexander’s thrall, but enemies of the Borgias are starting to circle. In need of trusted allies, Giulia turns to her sharp-tongued bodyguard, Leonello, and her fiery cook and confidante, Carmelina. Caught in the deadly world of the Renaissance’s most notorious family, Giulia, Leonello, and Carmelina must decide if they will flee the dangerous dream of power. But as the shadows of murder and corruption rise through the Vatican, they must learn who to trust when every face wears a mask…

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“The Confessions of Catherine de Medici is a dramatic, epic novel of an all-too-human woman whose strength and passion propelled her into the center of grand events. Meticulously-researched, this engrossing novel offers a fresh portrait of a queen who has too often been portrayed as a villain. Bravo Mr. Gortner!”—Sandra Gulland, author of The Josephine B Trilogy and Mistress of the Sun The truth is, not one of us is innocent. We all have sins to confess. So reveals Catherine de Medici, the last legitimate descendant of her family’s illustrious line. Expelled from her native Florence, Catherine is betrothed to Henri, son of François I of France. In an unfamiliar realm, Catherine strives to create a role for herself through her patronage of the famous clairvoyant Nostradamus and her own innate gift as a seer. But in her fortieth year, Catherine is widowed, left alone with six young children in a kingdom torn apart by the ambitions of a treacherous nobility. Relying on her tenacity, wit, and uncanny gift for compromise, Catherine seizes power, intent on securing the throne for her sons, unaware that if she is to save France, she may have to sacrifice her ideals, her reputation, and the secret of her embattled heart. BONUS: This edition contains a The Confessions of Catherine de Medici discussion guide and an excerpt from C.W. Gortner's The Queen's Vow. Praise for The Confessions of Catherine de Medici “Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory fans will devour this.”—Booklist “Highly recommended . . . a compelling and fascinating view of Catherine’s life and world.”—Historical Novels Review “Remarkably thoughtful in its insight into an unapologetically ruthless queen.”—Publishers Weekly “A fresh, well-researched and powerful portrait.”—RT Book Reviews

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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 members 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...

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A powerful, engrossing story of a biracial heiress who flees to Paris when the Haitian Revolution burns across her island home. But as she works her way into the inner circle of Robespierre and his mistress, she learns that not even oceans can stop the flames of revolution. Sylvie de Rosiers, the biracial daughter of a rich planter in 1791 Saint-Domingue, is both a lady born to privilege and a damning reminder of her father’s infidelity with an enslaved woman. After a violent slave uprising begins the Haitian Revolution, Sylvie and her brother leave their parents and old lives behind to flee unwittingly into another uprising—austere and radical Paris. Sylvie quickly becomes enamored with the aims of the Revolution, as well as with the revolutionaries themselves—most notably Maximilien Robespierre and his mistress, Cornélie Duplay. As a rising leader and abolitionist, Robespierre sees an opportunity to exploit Sylvie’s race and abandonment of her aristocratic roots as an example of his ideals, while the strong-willed Cornélie offers Sylvie guidance in free thought and a safe harbor. Sylvie battles with her past complicity in a slave society and her future within this new world order as she finds herself increasingly tugged between Robespierre's ideology and Cornélie's love. When the Reign of Terror descends, she must decide whether to become an accomplice while another kingdom rises on the bones of innocents…or risk losing her head.

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She survived her own innocence, and the treachery of Europe’s royal courts; The Last Boleyn is the story of the rise and fall of the Boleyns, one of England’s most powerful families, through the eyes of the eldest daughter, Mary. Although her sister, Anne, the queen; her brother, George, executed alongside Anne; and her father, Thomas, are most remembered by history, Mary was the Boleyn who set into motion the chain of events that brought about the family’s meteoric rise to power, as well as the one who managed to escape their equally remarkable fall. Sent away to France at an extraordinarily young age, Mary is quickly plunged into the dangerous world of court politics, where everything is beautiful but deceptive, and everyone she meets is watching and quietly manipulating the events and people around them. As she grows into a woman, Mary must navigate both the dangerous waters ruled by two kings and the powerful will of her own family in order to find a place for herself and the love she so deeply desires.

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Then...Grigory "Grisha" Potemkin has had a successful long association with the powerful Empress Catherine of Russia. But Catherine and Grisha are older now and face new threats, both from powers outside of Russia and from those close to them. Haunted by the horrors of his campaign against the Muslim Turks, Grisha hopes to construct a mosque in the heart of the empire. Unfortunately, Catherine's much younger new lover, the ambitious Platon Zubov, stands in his way. Grisha determines that to preserve Catherine's legacy he must save her from Zubov's dangerous influence and win back her heart. Now...When she learns she is the lost heiress to the Romanov throne, Veronica Herrera's life turns upside down. Dmitry Potemkin, one of Grisha's descendants, invites Veronica to Russia to accept a ceremonial position as Russia's new tsarina. Seeking purpose, Veronica agrees to act as an advocate to free a Russian artist sentenced to prison for displaying paintings critical of the church and government. Veronica is both celebrated and chastised. As her political role comes under fire, Veronica is forced to decide between the glamorous perks of European royalty and staying true to herself. In Jennifer Laam's The Tsarina's Legacy, unexpected connections between Grisha and Veronica are revealed as they struggle to make peace with the ghosts of their past and help secure a better future for themselves and the country they both love.

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The first ever biography that tells the true story of what really went on in the lives of Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia. Myths and rumor have shrouded the Borgia family for centuries – tales of incest, intrigue and murder have been told of them since they themselves walked the hallways of the Apostolic Palace. In particular, vicious rumor and slanderous tales have stuck to the names of two members of the infamous Borgia family – Cesare and Lucrezia, brother and sister of history’s most notorious family. But how much of it is true, and how much of it is simply rumor aimed to blacken the name of the Borgia family? In the first ever biography solely on the Borgia siblings, Samantha Morris tells the true story of these two fascinating individuals from their early lives, through their years living amongst the halls of the Vatican in Rome until their ultimate untimely deaths. Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia begins in the bustling metropolis of Rome with the siblings ultimately being used in the dynastic plans of their father, a man who would become Pope, and takes the reader through the separate, yet fascinatingly intertwined, lives of the notorious siblings. One tale, that of Cesare, ends on the battlefield of Navarre, whilst the other ends in the ducal court of Ferrara. Both Cesare and Lucrezia led lives full of intrigue and danger, lives which would attract the worst sort of rumor begun by their enemies. Drawing on both primary and secondary sources Morris brings the true story of the Borgia siblings, so often made out to be evil incarnate in other forms of media, to audiences both new to the history of the Italian Renaissance and old.

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An Elizabethan espionage thriller in which playwright Christopher Marlowe spies on Mary, Queen of Scots while navigating the perils of politics, theater, romance—and murder. England, 1585. In Kit Marlowe's last year at Cambridge, he is approached by Queen Elizabeth's spymaster offering an unorthodox career opportunity: going undercover to intercept a Catholic plot to put Mary, Queen of Scots on Elizabeth's throne. Spying on Queen Mary turns out to be more than Kit bargained for, but his salary allows him to mount his first play, and over the following years he becomes the toast of London's raucous theater scene. But when Kit finds himself reluctantly drawn back into the world of espionage and treason, he realizes everything he's worked so hard to attain—including the trust of the man he loves—could vanish in an instant. Pairing modern language with period detail, Allison Epstein brings Elizabeth's lavish court, Marlowe's colorful theater troupe, and the squalor of sixteenth-century London to vivid, teeming life. At the center of the action is Kit himself—an irrepressible, irreverent force of nature.

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BUSTLE BEST BOOK OF THE WEEK PICK NAMED A BOOKSHOP.ORG RECOMMENDED READING OF THE SEASON In this charming, deeply atmospheric novel set against the Amalfi Coast of the 1950s, two women form an intense and lasting friendship that embodies the paradoxes of Italian society. Inspired by her own adventurous, unconventional life, actress and writer Goliarda Sapienza’s recently rediscovered novel takes the reader to the sun-drenched town of Positano in southern Italy. There, while working on a film, Goliarda encounters the captivating Erica, a beautiful widow called “Princess” by the locals, who has been the object of much speculation. As the two women grow closer in spite of their different personalities, they gradually reveal more about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and the ghosts from their pasts that continue to hang over them. Writing the story of their transformative friendship thirty years later, Goliarda offers a profound reflection on love in its many forms, and opens a window onto an enchanting time and place that lingers in the mind. And this unlikely bond, forged between a leftist idealist and a traditional aristocrat, acts as a microcosm of Italy, illuminating its complex, competing impulses.

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THE FULL STORY BEHIND THE BORGIAS, NOW A MAJOR TV DRAMA STARRING JEREMY IRONS 'Either Caesar or nothing' was the motto of Cesare Borgia, whose name has long been synonymous with evil. Almost five centuries have passed since his death, yet his reputation still casts a sinister shadow. He stands accused of treachery, cruelty, rape, incest and, especially, murder - assassination by poison, the deadly white powder concealed in the jewelled ring, or by the midnight band of bravos lurking in the alleys of Renaissance Rome. This classic book by acclaimed historian and biographer Sarah Bradford (author of Lucrezia Borgia and Diana), is the drama of a man of exceptional gifts and a driving lust for power. Cesare Borgia dared fortune for the highest goals and when fate turned against him he fell like Lucifer. Set against the brilliant backcloth of High Renaissance Italy, his life had the perfect proportions of a Greek tragedy.

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Between the years of 1447 (Nicholas V) and 1572 (Pius V) Rome was transformed from a ruined Medieval city. The Vatican became the official home of the church and the worlds largest bureaucracy, a spectacular new Basilica of St Peters took 100 years to build and Michelangelo changed the course of art history with his Sistine Chapel. So vast and expensive was this cultural explosion that a new fundraising initiative was launched: the sale of indulgences. The Renaissance Popes were statesmen, warriors, patrons of the arts as well as churchmen. These were earthly times and the reputations of popes like Alexander VI, the infamous Borgia patriarch, and Julius 'Il Terrible' II for murder, poison, sodomy and simony vary only in degree. Meanwhile, the sin of heresy, which threatens the very core of the Catholic soul, was tirelessly targeted by two other lasting innovations of the period: the Inquisition and witch-hunts. Alexander VI, father of the ruthless Cesare and jezebel Lucrezia, is seen to this day as the embodiment of this iniquity. But Gerard Noel shows this is unjust, and based on false confessions and historical myth. What's more, Alexander created the blueprint for reform -- the first of its kind -- that would eventually lead to the Counter-Reformation. In his survey of the colourful reigns of the seventeen Renaissance Popes and his examination of the great Borgia myth Noel brings to light the true legacy -- political, artistic, religious -- of an extraordinary time.

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The Borgia family have become a byword for evil. Corruption, incest, ruthless megalomania, avarice and vicious cruelty—all have been associated with their name. And yet, paradoxically, this family lived when the Renaissance was coming into its full flowering in Italy. Examples of infamy flourished alongside some of the finest art produced in western history.This is but one of several paradoxes associated with the Borgia family. For the family which produced corrupt popes, depraved princes and poisoners, would also produce a saint. Previously history has tended to condemn, or attempt in part to exonerate, this remarkable family. Yet in order to understand the Borgias, the Borgias must be related to their time, together with the world which enabled them to flourish. Within this context the Renaissance itself takes on a very different aspect. Was the corruption part of the creation, or vice versa? Would one have been possible without the other?The powerful forces which first played out in the amphitheaters of ancient Greece: hubris, incest, murder, rivalries and doomed families, treacheries of political power, twists of fate—they are all here. Along with the final, tragic downfall. All these elements are played out in full in the glorious and infamous history of the Borgia family.

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One of the most fabulous treasures of the Renaissance, the Borgia Chalice, carries with it a dark aura - for legend has it that the notorious Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, could use this cup to poison his enemies, yet drink from it himself without harm. Security expert Tim Lacy has no superstitious fear of the chalice's supposed powers, and nor do the six people who drink from it after Lacy buys it for a client. But within the hour, four of those people are dead, all of them art critics who had mercilessly attacked the chalice's late owner, Gregor Santori, as a fraud. Yet Santori's son and daughter, who also drank from the cup, are unaffected. Is it possible that this is revenge from beyond the grave? Lacy sets out to unearth the truth in Rome, where revelations of sordid Vatican politics have remarkable contemporary echoes. Before long Lacy finds himself racing between the art establishments of two continents in pursuit of a criminal more ruthless than he could ever have known...

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A gripping novel about history’s most infamous family—The Borgias—and an innocent girl pulled into their treacherous rise to power, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Alice Network. Rome, 1492. The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous—or the most ruthless. The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web… Vivacious Giulia Farnese has floor-length golden hair and the world at her feet: beauty, wealth, and a handsome young husband. But she is stunned to discover that her glittering marriage is a sham, and she is to be given as a concubine to the ruthless, charismatic Cardinal Borgia: Spaniard, sensualist, candidate for Pope—who is passionately in love with her. Two trusted companions will follow her into the Pope's shadowy harem: Leonello, a cynical bodyguard bent on bloody revenge against a mysterious killer, and Carmelina, a fiery cook with a past full of secrets. But as corruption thickens in the Vatican and the enemies begin to circle, Giulia and her friends will need all their wits to survive in the world of the Borgias.

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A dramatic account of the deadly avalanche on Everest—and a return to reach the summit. On April 25, 2015, Jim Davidson was climbing Mount Everest when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake released avalanches all around him and his team, destroying their only escape route and trapping them at nearly 20,000 feet. It was the largest earthquake in Nepal in eighty-one years and killed nearly 8,900 people. That day also became the deadliest in the history of Everest, with eighteen people losing their lives on the mountain. After spending two unsettling days stranded on Everest, Davidson's team was rescued by helicopter. The experience left him shaken, and despite his thirty-three years of climbing and serving as an expedition leader, he wasn’t sure that he would ever go back. But in the face of risk and uncertainty, he returned in 2017 and finally achieved his dream of reaching the summit. Suspenseful and engrossing, The Next Everest portrays the experience of living through the biggest disaster to ever hit the mountain. Davidson's background in geology and environmental science makes him uniquely qualified to explain why the seismic threats lurking beneath Nepal are even greater today. But this story is not about “conquering” the world’s highest peak. Instead, it reveals how embracing change, challenge, and uncertainty prepares anyone to face their next “Everest” in life.

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Henry VIII, locked in a political showdown with France, offers up his beautiful sister, Princess Mary Rose, to secure peace between the two mighty kingdoms. Teenage Mary becomes the wife of the elderly King Louis, but remains secretly in love with Charles Brandon, the Duke of Suffolk. When King Louis dies two years later, Mary must act quickly to be with the man she loves. Mary and Charles devise a scheme to outwit the king, not knowing if it will lead to marital bliss or certain death.

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In her brilliant debut, Storey brings early 16th-century Florence alive, entering with extraordinary empathy into the minds and souls of two Renaissance masters, creating a stunning art history thriller. From 1501 to 1505, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti both lived and worked in Florence. Leonardo was a charming, handsome fifty year-old at the peak of his career. Michelangelo was a temperamental sculptor in his mid-twenties, desperate to make a name for himself. Michelangelo is a virtual unknown when he returns to Florence and wins the commission to carve what will become one of the most famous sculptures of all time: David. Even though his impoverished family shuns him for being an artist, he is desperate to support them. Living at the foot of his misshapen block of marble, Michelangelo struggles until the stone finally begins to speak. Working against an impossible deadline, he begins his feverish carving. Meanwhile, Leonardo's life is falling apart: he loses the hoped-for David commission; he can't seem to finish any project; he is obsessed with his ungainly flying machine; he almost dies in war; his engineering designs disastrously fail; and he is haunted by a woman he has seen in the market--a merchant's wife, whom he is finally commissioned to paint. Her name is Lisa, and she becomes his muse. Leonardo despises Michelangelo for his youth and lack of sophistication. Michelangelo both loathes and worships Leonardo's genius. Oil and Marble is the story of their nearly forgotten rivalry. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction--novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

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"A fragrant French bonbon of a book: love, glamour, perfume, and paparazzi all circling around the wedding of the century..."--Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of THE ALICE NETWORK and THE HUNTRESS. Named one of InStyle's best books to put in your totebag for the summer! Named one of Popsugar’s best books to put in your beachbag this summer and one of the best books of July! Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and unforgettable wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb take the reader on an evocative sun-drenched journey along the Côte d’Azur in this page-turning novel of passion, fate and second chances... Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique to fend off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy. James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

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“A masterwork by a skilled craftsman . . . Make a vow to read this book.”—New York Journal of Books Isabella is barely a teenager when she becomes an unwitting pawn in a plot to dethrone her half brother, King Enrique. Suspected of treason and held captive, she treads a perilous path, torn between loyalties, until at age seventeen she suddenly finds herself heiress of Castile, the largest kingdom in Spain. Plunged into a deadly conflict to secure her crown, she is determined to wed the one man she loves yet who is forbidden to her—Fernando, prince of Aragón. As they unite their two realms under “one crown, one country, one faith,” Isabella and Fernando face an impoverished Spain beset by enemies. With the future of her throne at stake, Isabella resists the zealous demands of the inquisitor Torquemada even as she is seduced by the dreams of an enigmatic navigator named Columbus. But when the Moors of the southern domain of Granada declare war, a violent, treacherous battle against an ancient adversary erupts, one that will test all of Isabella’s resolve, her courage, and her tenacious belief in her destiny. Praise for The Queen’s Vow “A beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction . . . Gortner’s vivid details blend with his deeply intensive research to re-create Isabella and Castile in a way that the reader will find compelling and immersive, bringing not just the Queen but the whole nation to life.”—RT Book Reviews “A fascinating story . . . Through his creative and spellbinding storytelling, Gortner’s readers come to know Isabella intimately in mind, heart and body as she lives through a tumultuous time, her intense longing to be the determiner of her own unique destiny.”—Wichita Falls Times Record News “A novel of triumph as Isabella vanquishes her enemies one by one . . . [She is] a very human and appealing character.”—The Roanoke Times “Politically charged, passionate . . . [a] well-researched, intriguing historical.”—Bookreporter

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This selection of John Donne's most powerful prose shows that the man remembered predominantly for his poetry was also a preacher, and a prose writer of extraordinary power. In it, he explores the metaphysical collision between poetry and religion, suicide and duty, the secular and the spiritual that characterized his times. Edited with an introduction and notes by Neil Rhodes.

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author continues her evocative Westmoreland Dynasty Saga with this romance following two defiant hearts clashing over a furious battle of wills in the glorious age of chivalry. Abducted from her convent school, headstrong Scottish beauty Jennifer Merrick does not easily surrender to Royce Westmoreland, Duke of Claymore. Known as “The Wolf,” his very name strikes terror in the hearts of his enemies. But proud Jennifer will have nothing to do with the fierce English warrior who holds her captive, this handsome rogue who taunts her with his blazing arrogance. Boldly she challenges his will—until the night he takes her in his powerful embrace, awakening in her an irresistible hunger. And suddenly Jennifer finds herself ensnared in a bewildering web…a seductive, dangerous trap of pride, passion, loyalty, and overwhelming love.

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The classic, magnificent bestselling novel about Richard III, now in a special thirtieth anniversary edition with a new preface by the author In this triumphant combination of scholarship and storytelling, Sharon Kay Penman redeems Richard III—vilified as the bitter, twisted, scheming hunchback who murdered his nephews, the princes in the Tower—from his maligned place in history. Born into the treacherous courts of fifteenth-century England, in the midst of what history has called The War of the Roses, Richard was raised in the shadow of his charismatic brother, King Edward IV. Loyal to his friends and passionately in love with the one woman who was denied him, Richard emerges as a gifted man far more sinned against than sinning. With revisions throughout and a new author's preface discussing the astonishing discovery of Richard's remains five centuries after his death, Sharon Kay Penman's brilliant classic is more powerful and glorious than ever.

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1570 in the Italian city of Ferrara. Sixteen-year-old Serafina is fipped by her family from an illicit love affair and forced into the convent of Santa Caterina, renowned for its superb music. Serafina's one weapon is her glorious voice, but she refuses to sing. Madonna Chiara, an abbess as fluent in politics as she is in prayer, finds her new charge has unleased a power play - rebellion, ecstasies and hysterias - within the convent. However, watching over Serafina is Zuana, the sister in charge of the infirmary, who understands and might even challenge her incarceration.

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USA Today Bestseller "This is a truly original novel that has earned its place among my favorite works of historical fiction."--Jennifer Robson, USA Today bestselling author of The Gown An exciting, dual-timeline historical novel about the creation of one of Leonardo da Vinci's most famous paintings, Portrait of a Lady with an Ermine, and the woman who fought to save it from Nazi destruction during World War II. Milan, 1492: When a 16-year old beauty becomes the mistress of the Duke of Milan, she must fight for her place in the palace—and against those who want her out. Soon, she finds herself sitting before Leonardo da Vinci, who wants to ensure his own place in the ducal palace by painting his most ambitious portrait to date. Munich, World War II: After a modest conservator unwittingly places a priceless Italian Renaissance portrait into the hands of a high-ranking Nazi leader, she risks her life to recover it, working with an American soldier, part of the famed Monuments Men team, to get it back. Two women, separated by 500 years, are swept up in the tide of history as one painting stands at the center of their quests for their own destinies.

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An unforgettably romantic novel that spans four Christmases (1914-1918), Last Christmas in Paris explores the ruins of war, the strength of love, and the enduring hope of the Christmas season. New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War. August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris. But as history tells us, it all happened so differently… Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene? Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

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ÊOn the 24th of February, 1815, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, thePharaonÊfrom Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples. As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d'If, got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and Rion island. Immediately, and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean were covered with spectators; it is always an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like theÊPharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden at the old Phocee docks, and belongs to an owner of the city. The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had doubled Pomegue, and approached the harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which is the forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could have happened on board. However, those experienced in navigation saw plainly that if any accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself, for she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully handled, the anchor a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already eased off, and standing by the side of the pilot, who was steering theÊPharaonÊtowards the narrow entrance of the inner port, was a young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye, watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction of the pilot. The vague disquietude which prevailed among the spectators had so much affected one of the crowd that he did not await the arrival of the vessel in harbor, but jumping into a small skiff, desired to be pulled alongside thePharaon, which he reached as she rounded into La Reserve basin. When the young man on board saw this person approach, he left his station by the pilot, and, hat in hand, leaned over the ship's bulwarks. He was a fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or twenty, with black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven's wing; and his whole appearance bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to men accustomed from their cradle to contend with danger.

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Behind every great ruler lies a betrayal. Eva Stachniak's novel sweeps readers into the passionate, intimate, and treacherous world of Catherine the Great, revealing Russia's greatest matriarch from her earliest days in court, where the most valuable currency was the secrets of nobility and the most dangerous weapon to wield was ambition. Two young women, caught in the landscape of shifting allegiances, navigate the treacherous waters of palace intrigue. Barbara is a servant who will become one of Russia's most cunning royal spies. Sophia is a pretty, naive German duchess who will become Catherine the Great. For readers of superb historical fiction, Eva Stachniak captures in glorious detail the opulence of royalty and the perilous loyalties of the Russian court.

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Named a Best Book by Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine, Goodreads, Southern Living, Outside Magazine, Oprah.com, HelloGiggles, Parade, Fodor’s Travel, Sioux City Journal, Read it Forward, Medium.com, and NPR’s All Things Considered. "A thunderclap of originality, here is a fresh voice and fresh take on one of the oldest stories we tell about ourselves as Americans and Westerners. It's riveting in all the right ways -- a damn good read that stayed with me long after closing the covers." - Timothy Egan, New York Times bestselling author of The Worst Hard Time From a blazing new voice in fiction, a gritty and lyrical American epic about a young woman who disguises herself as a boy and heads west In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family's homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess's quest lands her in the employ of the territory's violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah--dead or alive. Wrestling with her brother's outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right. Told in Jess's wholly original and unforgettable voice, Whiskey When We're Dry is a stunning achievement, an epic as expansive as America itself--and a reckoning with the myths that are entwined with our history.

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