The Borgia Bride (英語) オンデマンド (ペーパーバック) – 2006/2/6
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'This sweeping historical novel tells the dramatic tale of that most intriguing of Renaissance women', - Lucrezia Borgia. Incest. Poison. Betrayal. Three wedding presents for the Borgia bride! Italy 1492 Pope Alexander VI is elected. And so begins the Borgia reign of terror. Alexander murders, bribes and betrays to establish his dynasty. No one is immune. Rome is a hotbed of accusation and conspiracy. Every day, the River Tiber is full of new bodies. Sancha de Aragon, daughter of King Alfonso II of Naples, arrives in Rome newly wed to Alexander's youngest son, Jofre. Their marriage protects Naples against the ambitions of the French King Louis and gains Spanish support for the Borgias. But Rome is very different to her beloved Naples. The debauchery of the Borgia inner-circle is notorious: every lust is indulged and every indiscretion overlooked. Sancha is no innocent: she possesses an indomitable spirit which allows her to survive in the snake-pit, but her ancestors once rivalled the Borgias in cruelty and Sancha's greatest fear is that blood will out. Lucrezia Borgia's vicious jealously stings Sancha at first, but gradually the two young women develop a cautious friendship. Lucrezia, adored by her father but used ruthlessly as a political tool, seems deceptively innocent and sympathetic, and their bond strengthens when Lucrezia is married to Sancha's treasured brother, Alfonso. But when Sancha falls in love with Cesare Borgia, her husband's enigmatic older brother, she has no idea of how bizarre and internecine are the family's true ties. Alexander is rather more than an indulgent father; Lucrezia not the innocent she appears; and Cesare's ambition burns wildly. The only safe relationship with the Borgias is none at all: as Sancha, her brother and Naples are soon to discover!
'from sexual passion to mortal danger, the dramatic shift of real historical events will keep the reader turning the pages.' Philippa Gregory 'corset-busting escapism... Perfect for a naughty weekend in Rome.' The Sunday Times Travel Magazine商品の説明をすべて表示する
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This is a must read for any reader of rennaissance historical fiction. While I, Mona Lisa does a great job of discussing Savonarola and the criticisms of Pope Alexander VI and the Borgia family, the Borgia Bride puts these criticisms into context. After reading about the Borgia's exploits - based on fact as well as sixteenth century gossip - it is no wonder that the Reformation occurred shortly after Pope Alexander VI's papacy!
The book focuses on Sancha of Aragon, a princess of the royal house of Naples. I knew little about her family or Naples, so it was refreshing to read a peice of historical fiction about a person and family about whom I know little. The advantage for Kalogridis, compared to authors of historical fiction about better known historical figures, is that for Sancha of Aragon, Kalogridis had virtually a clean slate. Little is known about her. I tried some internet searches and beyond the fact that she married Jofre Borgia, was Cesare Borgia's lover, and the facts of her parentage, Kalogridis had room to develop her character. She was not constrained by a vast historical record. In the Borgia Bride, Kalogridis creates a strong, intelligent woman and meshes her character into one of the most shocking families of the Rennaissance.
The basic plot summary is as follows. Sancha married Jofre Brogia, a boy several years her junior, largely because her family wanted to secure the pope's support in the event of the rumored invasion by the French king. In return, the Napolese make Jofre and Sancha the Prince and Princess of Squillace. The rumored invasion occurs without the Pope's sending troops to support Naples, however, because the French kidnapped the Pope's teenaged lover. Disappointed, the Napolese are forced to confront the invasion on their own. As this time, Sancha exhibits her bravery and earns the respect of her countrymen. Eventually, Sancha and her husband are summoned to Rome where Sancha is confronted with the licentious and shocking behavior of the Borgias. At first, she is witness to the Pope's open sexual behavior with his mistress and prostitutes. She also meets Cesare Borgia and embarks on a passionate affair. Eventually, Sancha realizes that she has gotten herself in over her head, learning of the Pope's illicit relationship with his daughter Lucrezia. I don't want to spoil the rest of the plot, but the story that ensues is fascinating as Sancha uses her wiles to protect herself from the Borgia family.
Headed by Pope Alexander VI, the Borgia family is a bit unusual. The pope had love affairs and openly acknowledged his children (unlike other popes who embraced their offspring as "nieces and nephews"). The Borgias were cunning, ruthless and power-hungry. All this is fact.
Author Jeanne Kalogridis tells this story in the first person from Sancha's point of view, beginning with her childhood in Naples, her move to Rome as a bride and her life there. She has a torrid love affair with one of the pope's son, is party to murder, witnesses extreme incest and lives on the edge of treachery. The fast-paced ending is an exciting read.