Acclaimed velist of the Italian Renaissance Sarah Dunant w takes on the era's most infamous family: the Borgias. By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, where more than in Rome and in the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined t just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: he is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women and power must use papacy and family to succeed. His eldest son Cesare, a dazzlingly cold intelligence and an even colder soul, is his greatest - though increasingly unstable - weapon. Later immortalised in Machiavelli's The Prince, he provides the energy and the muscle. His daughter Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is the prime dynastic tool. Twelve years old when the vel opens, hers is a journey through three marriages: from childish incence to painful experience, from pawn to political player. Stripping away the myths around the Borgias, Blood & Beauty is a majestic vel that breathes life into this astonishing family and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex and relentless.
Internationally bestselling writer Sarah Dunant is famous for her Italian historical novels: The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan and Sacred Hearts, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. She has worked widely in television, radio and print, and has written ten novels and edited two collections of essays. She lives in London and Florence.