Customer Reviews for

The Borgias and Their Enemies

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hibbert's familial biography of the Borgias was surprisingly int

    Hibbert's familial biography of the Borgias was surprisingly interesting; but I've realized, thinking back to past books of history I've relished, that I love the breezy style with which British authors often approach such large subjects: you are swept away by the force of the writing; and, if you are like me, are willing to let go the notion you would remember the name of every personage mentioned, let alone know who they were. I was captivated by page fifteen, if I recall.

    What Hibbert subtly manages to bring into focus is the pageantry of the times, and how it clashed with the ugly actions (see below) of Rodrigo and Cesare Borgia, in particular. Hibbert refuses to let the reader believe that anything written during Lucrezia's youth was indeed true of her. Again, he does this with delicacy, pointing to the difference in propaganda and sensationalism (yes, they existed in the 15th century) and the actual record.

    In fact, the book's main "characters," so to speak, are the Borgia pere and fils, Cesare and Juan, those men who wielded power and misused it. We are left with no doubt as to how they achieved their status and rank (in the sons' case, by the mandates or bullying of the father.) Much of what they did is reprehensible and vile.

    My only connection to this time period is reading about the authors of the period, in light connection to studies of 16th century English and French literature. That was a long time ago, but I did summon it up, as I did about 5 months ago when, stuck home with a stomach bug, I watched the first season of a European television series entitled simply "Borgia." The first season covers the first year or two of Rodrigo Borgia (the father of Cesare and Lucrezia)'s accession to the papacy. (He became pope Alexander VI, known for dividing the Western world between Portugal and Spain, and for continuing to allow the selling of indulgences, cardinalships, etc., that led to the Reformation.) I don't recommend the television show to anyone put off by violence, nudity, lewd sexual conduct or references to and scenes of homicide, incest, torture, and rape. But the creators sum up the spirit of the times quite well.

    One truth that the television show does convey, that Hibbert only has time to hint, is that the Borgias simply were perhaps more openly ruthless than their ruthless contemporaries, not more so, and never sui generis. Hibbert has quotes some contemporaries who mention the fearlessness with which they acted, and their willingness to barter and bribe at will, for what they desired.

    I'm sure, friends, that you will see me occasionally read books about this period; and for any history, you bet that I will know be looking for the shorter books by English authors who write as if they have been doing it since they were old enough to pick up a pen.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2009

    Borgias: Power and Passion mixes with Papal privilege

    This was a provocative read about the Borgia family and their powerful connections to the papacy in the 1500 - 1600s. Political and religious rulers of the former Roman empire set the stage for this family of merciless, power hungry individuals and gives the reader a glimpse of life in Italy from the perspective of the ruling class. If one thinks the Church elders of today are bereft of morals and compassion, have a look at what their predecessors took part in from centuries ago and wonder if much has changed.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Papal Parent and His Bastard Pawns

    An engrossing tale of Roderigo Borgia paying his way to the head of the papacy as Alexander VI, arranging political marriages for his children (then annuling them when it suits his aspirations), and backing his murderous son as a holy terror for anyone who tries to stand in their way of power. Hibbert engages his readers in such a way that they almost feel sorry for the bad guys.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2014

    Crystal

    I walk up next to Blythe. "So whats wrong with Micheal?" I say worried.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Michael

    He just lays there ignoring carrie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Carrie

    *Sigh and closes my eyes* im sorry. (Gtg football)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    Blythe

    "Thank you!" She yells sacrastically. "Hades...childeren....pact...thinking......Percy..." She mutters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

    Bella

    Neatly arranged my things in a cbnet and hung cloths up on spike. Cliam a bed and turn the pillow case green.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Leonidas

    Slept

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Axios

    Sits on his bed

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Damocles

    * drops off his things and sits in a bed*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2014

    Leon

    Crashed into his bed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    Hades' Cabin

    This is the Hades' cabin. It is made from pure obsidian with fiery green torches flanking the doorway. Inside, there are bunk beds (black, white, and gray) and cabinets built next to them for personal storage. In the middle, there is a jagged black spire reaching up four and a half feet. Some use it as a coathanger.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 18, 2013

    wonderfully written book

    wonderfully written book

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    retellling the Borgis story better than many have done

    retellling the Borgis story better than many have done

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Bad bogias

    More fun than showtimes the borgias

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
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