Duchess of Milan

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Once upon a time, in fifteenth-century Italy, two women faced each other with a ruthlessness and brilliance no man has ever matched. Enter their world of splendor and depravity, of passion and wickedness... It is Italy's most dazzling and dangerous age, and as Beatrice d'Este and Isabella of Aragon match wits and feminine cunning, it is a dance to the death to decide which one of them will be crowned - Duchess of Milan

A bestselling historical epic of simmering sex, ...

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Overview

Once upon a time, in fifteenth-century Italy, two women faced each other with a ruthlessness and brilliance no man has ever matched. Enter their world of splendor and depravity, of passion and wickedness... It is Italy's most dazzling and dangerous age, and as Beatrice d'Este and Isabella of Aragon match wits and feminine cunning, it is a dance to the death to decide which one of them will be crowned - Duchess of Milan

A bestselling historical epic of simmering sex, betrayal and intrigue. In 15th-century Italy, two women face each other with a ruthlessness and brilliance no man has ever matched. Enter their world of splendor and depravity, of passion and evil, of wit and cunning. (Historical Fiction)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This complex, ambitious novel of Renaissance Italy by the author by Byzantium explores volatile events of the period from 1491 to 1508, as dukes of Naples and Milan scheme viciously, the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor play politics and the runty Valois king Charles VIII claims kinship with the house of Milan in order to ``crusade'' over the Alps and install French authority. The tale's appealing protagonist is Beatrice d'Este, who cherishes the poetry of Dante and maintains a healthy awe for the goddess Fortune. Wedded at 15 to faithless, dark-haired Lodovico Sforza, 40, the cruelly powerful son of an upstart condottiere, Beatrice first loathes and then loves her callous spouse, though the development of their relationship is not convincing. Throughout, Beatrice vies with shrewish cousin Isabella of Aragon for the title of Duchess of Milan. Scenes of torture, sex and childbirth; texts of letters; descriptions of gowns, artifacts, dreams, ceremonies and hunt parties; and inserted passages of explanatory history (Leonardo da Vinci periodically reports as engineer at the court of Milan) add color and texture. The narrative sometimes sags beneath the weight of its supernumary characters and compulsive documentation, but the play of strongwilled personalities against a vivid historical background produces a satisfying tale. 60,000 first printing; $60,000 ad/promo. (June)
Library Journal
Medieval Italy on the cusp of the modern world serves as the setting for Ennis's second sprawling and colorful historical novel, after Byzantium ( LJ 7/89). In the last years of dominance for the great Italian city-states, two unusual women nurture ambitions as Duchess of Milan: Isabella of Aragon, wife of Gian Galeazzo Sforza, is Duchess in name, while her cousin Beatrice d'Este is married to Lodovico Sforza, Gian Galeazzo's uncle and regent. The novel explores their machinations, offering a fascinating depiction of the power wielded by women in positions of influence at a time when it was supposedly reserved for men. Ennis has the sure touch required to sort out the web of alliances among the ruling families of Italy and to create compelling fiction from the internecine strife of city-state politics. Its vivid, passionate, and treacherous characters make Duchess of Milan absorbing reading. Highly recommended where quality historical fiction is in demand. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/92.-- Dean James, Houston Acad. of Medicine/Texas Medical Ctr. Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451404282
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/15/1993
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2003

    I was enthralled with this book!!

    I am a person who loves to read, and when I came across this book, given to me in a bag of books, I could not put it down. I love to read about history, especially this time period, and I do not think that Sforza was a bad Italian family. I've done a little research on the Sforza family, and Il Moro is portrayed as a bad man, and truly he is not! The Italian word for strength is 'forza', I believe coming from the name 'Sforza'. This is a MUST read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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