The Pope's Daughter: The Extraordinary Life of Felice della Rovere by Caroline P. Murphy | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
The Pope's Daughter : The Extraordinary Life of Felice della Rovere

The Pope's Daughter : The Extraordinary Life of Felice della Rovere

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by Caroline P. Murphy
     
 

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The illegitimate daughter of Pope Julius II, Felice della Rovere became one of the most powerful and accomplished women of the Italian Renaissance. Now, Caroline Murphy vividly captures the untold story of a rare woman who moved with confidence through a world of popes and princes. Using a wide variety of sources, including Felice's personal correspondence, as well as

Overview

The illegitimate daughter of Pope Julius II, Felice della Rovere became one of the most powerful and accomplished women of the Italian Renaissance. Now, Caroline Murphy vividly captures the untold story of a rare woman who moved with confidence through a world of popes and princes. Using a wide variety of sources, including Felice's personal correspondence, as well as diaries, account books, and chronicles of Renaissance Rome, Murphy skillfully weaves a compelling portrait of this remarkable woman. Felice della Rovere was to witness Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel, watch her father Pope Julius II lay the foundation stone for the new Saint Peter's, and see herself immortalized by Raphael in his Vatican frescos. With her marriage to Gian Giordano Orsini--arranged, though not attended, by her father the Pope--she came to possess great wealth and power, assets which she turned to her advantage. While her father lived, Felice exercised much influence in the affairs of Rome--even negotiating for peace with the Queen of France--and after his death, Felice persevered, making allies of the cardinals and clerics of St. Peter's and maintaining her control of the Orsini land through tenacity, ingenuity, and carefully cultivated political savvy. She survived the Sack of Rome in 1527, but her greatest enemy proved to be her own stepson Napoleone. The rivalry between him and her son Girolamo had a sudden and violent end, and brought her perilously close to losing everything she had spent her life acquiring. With a marvelous cast of characters, this is a spellbinding biography set against the brilliant backdrop of Renaissance Rome.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198040286
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/01/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
575,108
File size:
4 MB

Meet the Author

Caroline P. Murphy is Associate Professor of Renaissance Art at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Lavinia Fontana: A Painter and Her Patrons in Sixteenth-Century Bologna.

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The Pope's Daughter: The Extraordinary Life of Felice della Rovere 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was Rome, 1483. If ever a baby was doomed by birth, it was Felice Della Rovere. The odds were stacked against her. She was female and illegitimate. Nonetheless she rose above the liabilities of birth to become the most powerful woman in Rome. The story of her life, as related by Harvard art historian Caroline P. Murphy is fascinating, as her achievements rival those of any contemporary woman. It was one thing to be born illegitimate during the Renaissance, quite another to be the illegitimate daughter of Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere who would become Pope Julius II. Not a gentle leader, Julius was known as 'The Warrior Pope,' one who despised and reviled the rather hedonistic lifestyles of the Borgias. Nonetheless, he was in some ways a helpful father, seeing to the advantageous marriage of his daughter to a member of the wealthy Orsini family, which gave Felice access to the means necessary to amass a personal estate. Felice had been married once before but left a young widow. (The name of her first husband could not be traced). She was raised in her mother's home and learned much of intrigue and manipulation during her formative years. When her father was elected to the papacy she became quite useful to him as a runner of errands. She was witness to the painting of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, and the laying of a foundation for a new St. Peter's. Felice may well have inherited her ambition from her father who sought greater Roman power. Upon the death of Julius II, Felice used the Orsini family influence to become a friend of cardinals. She understood politics well, and used this knowledge to great advantage. Even the sack of Rome in 1527 did not see her downfall, as she successfully arranged safe passage for herself and her offspring to Urbino. Murphy enriches Felice's story with myriad details regarding her daily life, whether it is the overseeing of servants, seeing to her gardens and wine cellars, cosseting the influential, bribing officials, or even arranging a murder, which we are told was commonplace in that day and time. Felice's story may have been lost to us for half a century, but after reading 'The Pope's Daughter' this incredible woman will not be forgotten again. - Gail Cooke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
well written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago