The Borgia family has become a byword for lust, cruelty, avarice and intrigue. It has inspired abomination and fascination in almost equal measure, comparable to the Corleone clan of The Godfather. This lavishly illustrated year-by-year account will show how the Borgias earned their infamous reputation.
Originally from Spain, they came to prominence in 1455 when Alfonso Borgia was elected Pope Calixtus III. He gave red hats to two of his nephews, one of whom, Rodrigo, became Pope Alexander VI in 1492. This splendid Renaissance prince was no spiritual leader, exploiting international power politics to advance his sons and daughters, notably Cesare and Lucrezia. Machiavelli admired their ruthlessness, the inspiration for his famous treatise, The Prince, but others were appalled by their extravagance, licentiousness and immorality.
Mary Hollingsworth has a B.Sc. in business studies and a Ph.D. in art history. Her doctoral thesis dealt with the role of the architect in Italian Renaissance building projects and led to research on the role of the patron in the development of Renaissance art and architecture, a subject she taught to undergraduates and postgraduates, and published in two books (see below).
Her subsequent work on the papers of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este considerably broadened her horizons, and expertise, well beyond the confines of art history into the everyday world of Renaissance Europe. She has publ...
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