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Overview

Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope by Eleanor Herman

Eleanor Herman, the talented author of the New York Times bestselling Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen goes behind the sacred doors of the Catholic Church in Mistress of the Vatican, a scintillating biography of a powerful yet little-known woman whose remarkable story is ripe with secrets, sex, passion, and ambition. For almost four centuries this astonishing story of a woman’s absolute power over the Vatican has been successfully buried—until now.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061245565
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/08/2009
Series: P.S. Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 502,137
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

The author of Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen, New York Times bestselling historian Eleanor Herman has hosted episodes for the National Geographic Channel and the History Channel's Lost Worlds. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, she is married and lives in McLean, Virginia.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     1
The Girl From Viterbo
The Convent     9
The Wealthy Landowner's Wife     29
The Roman Noblewoman     38
The Brother-in-Law     52
The Papal Nuncio     66
Cardinals     78
The Black Widow     98
Conclave     117
The Female Pope
The Vicar of Christ     137
Celebrations     149
Women in the Vatican     161
Vengeance on the Barberinis     179
The Despised Daughter-in-Law     196
The Imbecile Cardinals     209
Birth, Famine, and Bitter Peace     223
The Shoulder of Saint Francesca     237
The Holy Jubilee Year     257
Crisis of Conscience     274
Unforgiveness
Honor and Dishonor     293
Olimpia's Triumphant Return     311
The Sudden Disgrace of Cardinal Astalli     331
Death of the Dove     348
Unforgiveness     365
Pope Alexander VII     372
The Two Queens of Rome     384
The Scourge of God     395
After Olimpia     409
Notes     421
Bibliography     433
Index     439

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Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
mcfly2392 More than 1 year ago
Wow! What a historical prespective of the early vatica corruption and the rise of one woman who spent her life being controlled by men. A strong woman who helped the poor prostitutes and young girls have a future. She ruled in a era of men. I enjoyed this book.
Paris182 More than 1 year ago
I was surprised how fascinating I found Eleanor Hermann's "Mistress of the Vatican". It is the story of Olimpia Maldaichini; who in the mid 1600's controlled the Vatican through her brother-in-law Pope Innocent X. Olimpia was a woman who knew how to get her own way, was smart enough to do so and used it to enrich herself both personally and financially. Unfortunately she overreached and found herself on the outs eventually and then surprisingly enough back in. Eleanor Herman's story is sympathetic without being prejudiced in favor of her subject, and she details both the good and the bad with equal enthusiasm. With liberal use of modern phrases the prose is lively and interesting. A highly recommended read about a little known part of history.
CelticClout More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a highly engrossing book. There is so much unknown about the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church and Herman's account provides a great many details on this. My only complaint might lie more with Herman's editor than with her. She constantly used the word "sumptuous" to describe virtually every rich person's home. I can see once, or even twice. But she uses the word at least 8 times. Ugghhhh. But for a thesarus or an editor who paid attention to word overuse....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, historically accurate and a lively and entertaining read! I highly recommend it. You'll not be disappointed!
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Why is this book in the $2'99 section