Cesare Borgia, his Life and Times

Cesare Borgia his Life and Times Accusations of treachery rape incest and murder almost five centuries have passed since Cesare Borgia s death and his reputation still casts a sinister shadow Yet the real man was a mesmerizing fi

  • Title: Cesare Borgia, his Life and Times
  • Author: Sarah Bradford
  • ISBN: 9780297771241
  • Page: 352
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Accusations of treachery, rape, incest, and murder almost five centuries have passed since Cesare Borgia s death, and his reputation still casts a sinister shadow Yet the real man was a mesmerizing figure who inspired Machiavelli s classic The Prince During the brief space of time when he occupied the stage, he shocked and stunned his contemporaries with his lofty ambitAccusations of treachery, rape, incest, and murder almost five centuries have passed since Cesare Borgia s death, and his reputation still casts a sinister shadow Yet the real man was a mesmerizing figure who inspired Machiavelli s classic The Prince During the brief space of time when he occupied the stage, he shocked and stunned his contemporaries with his lofty ambitions and daring Born the illegitimate son of a Spanish Cardinal who became Pope Alexander VI, he was, by his 27th year, the most feared, hated, and envied man of his day By 31 he was dead In Sarah Bradford s brilliant biography, his story assumes the proportions of Greek tragedy.

    One thought on “Cesare Borgia, his Life and Times”

    1. I am probably the most biased person to ever review any book concerning the Borgias. I think that they were a magnificent, fascinating, and amoral family; a family capable of intense love and intense brutality. They might be my favorite historical family of all time--and believe me, I take a great interest in many, many dynasties. The two most famous Borgias, Cesare and Lucrezia, are particularly captivating, for me and the rest of the world. I can't seem to shake this fixation on two such mercu [...]

    2. I wasn't planning on reading anything related to the Borgias this year, because I lean towards shying away like a scalded cat from this topic due to the lack of seriousness and sensationalism surrounding this family in HF. But then, I found Fuyumi Soryo's excellent historical Manga series Cesare, and felt the need to go back into the true story to complement the fictional one, and this thorough biography by Sarah Bradford crossed my path. And it turned out to be more enjoyable and informative th [...]

    3. The companion work to her superb “Lucrezia Borgia”, Bradford’s exploration of the life of Lucrezia’s highly controversial brother offers an insightful look into the world of late 15th century/early 16th century Rome and Europe in general. Born the illegitimate son of Rodrigo Borgia, who rose to become Pope Alexander VI, Cesare was originally intended by his father for a career in the Church. Within the confines of filial loyalty, he resisted but was made a cardinal at the age of eighteen [...]

    4. Cesare Borgia: controversial, compelling and fascinating. This is the story of the man who should have been the greatest man in Italian history and how and why this is not how he is remembered.It is such a great read and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in the period or the Borgias.

    5. READ THIS BOOK! I recently re-read this amazing book. I confess to having been unimpressed by it years ago, but the more I read about Cesare Borgia, the more interesting I find him to be. Yes, he was ruthless, but also a brilliant tactician. Having recently finished Paul Strathern's "The Artist, the Philosopher and the Warrior" I was put into a more open frame of mind as I approached the book this time. I suspect that being older and better read in history gives me a greater appreciation for thi [...]

    6. 'Here, in a scant piece of earth, lies he whom all the world feared'Bradford's biography of Cesare Borgia is balanced and straightforward: she quotes from primary sources but they're not referenced fully in the text itself (annoying!) and gives reasons for her readings of events and actions. Like other biographies of Renaissance people, this is offers up an essentially external view of Borgia and places him in his historical and political context: while Bradford gestures to some superficial psyc [...]

    7. I am really interested in history, particularly renaissance history and have read a fair few biographies of this era, but this one I found totally engrossing. It is written beautifully, but even more importantly, it deals with Cesare Borgia in a very even handed manner. So much that is written about the Borgias and Cesare in particular is based on rumour and reputation rather than evidence. He is either portrayed as the devil incarnate (e.g. in Dumas) or as impossibly romatic figure that really [...]

    8. I found this book to be kind of lacking. Granted, it's more good than it's bad, but Bradford's research doesn't seem to be really thorough in some points and one feels like she's been too lazy to check her sources. When she mentions the infamous cantarella, for instance, it's crystal clear that she didn't even bother to find out that said cantarella possibly (likely, in fact) never existed. And it's just one of the things that left me underimpressed. Bradford also has a soft spot for the Cesare/ [...]

    9. This bio is honestly amazing, coming from someone who doesn't usually find biographies very interesting. It's clear that Bradford put in a lot of research, and that she adores her subject, the enigmatic Cesare Borgia. He's such a fascinating figure, one who gained Machiavelli's admiration - extremely cunning and resourceful, rising above his station in life, yet dead before his time.

    10. Sarah Bradford did a wonderful job of staying as unbiased as a biographer possibly can. While she debunking some myths about Cesare and the family, she also wasn't slow to admit that he was a very ambitious, vindictive, and hard person. Parts of the beginning were a little slow, but once I got past them I flew through the rest.

    11. At first I thought that it was just that I knew it all, and then I realised my problem with this book was that Bradford just isn't very good at understanding the period mindset.I can't recommend it, unless you happen to want dates and times and places and quotes from primary documents -- it's terrific on all of those. As a research book on Cesare, I'm glad I've read it, I guess.

    12. author takes a full page detour from alfonso d'aragona's murder (by cesare) to reassure the reader, with the help of multiple primary sources, that cesare was still totes hot at the time despite all the syph. author priorities: sound.

    13. Italy in the 1490s-1500s, where the Renaissance is in full swing. This is the Italy of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo (who are all mentioned). It is also swarming with prostitutes, a great many of them looking after the clergy. One lord “received ambassadors while lying in bed with his sister”. Another had both his wives murdered, raped his daughter and attempted to sodomise his son, but it was for heresy that the Pope excommunicated him. It is a world of warring cities and stat [...]

    14. CESARE BORGIA. (1976). Sarah Bradford. **.I’m afraid that I didn’t get too far into this biography before I had to quit. There was just too much information, and a great deal of it dealing with the history of the Italian states surrounding our person of interest. Italy as a country didn’t exist during the time of Cesare. It was a collection of independent states ruled over by individual families and the Papacy. In addition, there were sections that were ruled by Spain and France. The numbe [...]

    15. I liked this biography for several reasons:*It was very well written, in a simple and clear language that helped to make the reading process flow, which unfortunately isn't often found in biographies (Many authors of biographies insist in using a tone and vocabulary that makes the reader suffer to get through the book). *Thanks to the way that Sarah Bradford presented the story, it made the biography interesting to read and it was a fun read, like fiction actually.*It's very accurate and full of [...]

    16. Originally published in 1976, Sarah Bradford's comprehensive and well balanced biography of Cesare Borgia remains a frequently used resource for pretty much any book on the Borgias written since, which says all one needs to know about its continued relevance. That being said, the book having been so heavily used to inform many other works, I did not find that much information here that was actually new to me and found the overwhelming detail- and primary source quotation-heavy text a bit too dry [...]

    17. * Disclaimer: this is a review for a book called "De Borgia's" in Dutch, that apparently had a much better fitting title in its original English.Don't let the title of this book fool you. It may sound like it's a book about the Borgias, but it's a book about Cesare Borgia and how he brought down his family and himself. Surely, Rodrigo, Lucrezia, Juan and Jofre are mentioned, but don't play really big parts in the book. As for how Lucrezia's and Jofre's lives ended, I have no idea. This is not ne [...]

    18. I am currently obsessed with the Borgias, especially Cesare. I find him so incredibly fascinating and compelling. Is it weird that I'm in love a man that's been dead for over 500 years? Because oh God, I am and I'd give anything to go back to Renaissance Italy and see this amazing man alive.This book was everything I wanted, it gave great details about his life and included many passages from letters written about Cesare, and even some of the things he said. I truly wish I could time travel back [...]

    19. Probably one of the best autobiographies written on the Italian historical figure behind Florentine philosopher and statesmen Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince." Enjoyed the author's account of the Borgia Clan solely focusing on Cesare's life and death. The main key factors were his governance of the province of Romagna through the power of the papacy, aid of his father Pope Alexander VI, the murder of this brother Juan, and his relationship with his sister Lucretia Borgia.

    20. I can't believe it's possible for a book about Cesare Borgia to be dull but this one is. I love historical bios, and have a good collection myself but this one is just not very well written. Spends too much time on Cesare's various political alliances and acts and almost nothing of the man himself. Cannot recommend.

    21. This is my bible on Cesare Borgia - my go to book every time I want to double check facts about his life. Bradford really is my biggest inspiration when it comes to writing about Cesare and I adore this book and the insight it gives into the life of one of history's most controversial figures. Highly recommended.

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