In the Name of the Family

In the Name of the Family

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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The author of Blood and Beauty returns with another captivating novel about Renaissance Italy and one of history's most notorious families. Before the Corleones, before the Lannisters, there was the Borgias. Bestselling novelist Sarah Dunant has long been drawn to the high drama of Renaissance Italy: power, passion, beauty, brutality, and the ties of blood. With In the Name of the Family, she offers a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia's final years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolò Machiavelli. It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womanizer and master of political corruption, is now on the papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two—already three times married and a pawn in her father's plans—is discovering her own power. And then there is his son Cesare Borgia, brilliant, ruthless, and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with Machiavelli that gives the Florentine diplomat a master class in the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince. But while the pope rails against old age and his son's increasingly erratic behavior, it is Lucrezia who must navigate the treacherous court of Urbino, her new home, and another challenging marriage to create her own place in history. Sarah Dunant again employs her remarkable gifts as a storyteller to bring to life the passionate men and women of the Borgia family, as well as the ever-compelling figure of Machiavelli, through whom the reader will experience one of the most fascinating—and doomed—dynasties of all time. Praise for Sarah Dunant's first novel about the Borgias, Blood and Beauty "Like Hilary Mantel with her Cromwell trilogy, [Sarah] Dunant has scaled new heights by refashioning mythic figures according to contemporary literary taste. This intellectually satisfying historical saga, which offers blood and beauty certainly, but brains too, is surely the best thing she has done to date."—The Miami Herald "Hedonism, lust, political intrigue . . . With so much drama, readers won't want the era of Borgia rule to end."—People "Dunant transforms the blackhearted Borgias and the conniving courtiers and cardinals of Renaissance Europe into fully rounded characters, brimming with life and lust."—The New York Times Book Review "Dazzling . . . a triumph on an epic scale . . . filled with rich detail and page-turning drama."—BookPage "Compelling female players have been a characteristic of Dunant's earlier novels, and this new offering is no exception. . . . The members of this close-knit family emerge as dynamic characters, flawed but sympathetic, filled with fear and longing."—The Seattle Times
Publisher: 2017
ISBN: 9780812996982
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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u
uncommonreader
Jan 16, 2020

I enjoyed both of Dunant's novels about the Borgias.

b
brangwinn
Oct 24, 2017

Because of the many points of view this is not the easiest historical novel to follow, but it is well worth the effort. Because of Dunant’s careful research about the Borgia family and her deft writing, the reader becomes enmeshed in the deceit and loves of the Borgia family, in particular Lucrezia. Among the points of view, I most appreciated was that of the Florentine diplomat, Machiavelli. The intrigue and back-stabbing that made the world of the Borgia pope is all here.

t
tjdickey
Sep 25, 2017

A continuation of Dunant's "Blood and Beauty," and even better in the writing. We see the Borgias as somehow more human, though perhaps no less frightening in this vision: there are faint echoes of Hitler in some of the "diplomacy." The relationship between Lucrezia and poet Pietro Bembo is touchingly drawn, and the electric, emotional and intellectual chemistry between masterminds Cesare Borgia and Niccolo Machiavelli alone is worth the reading.

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AmandaG7
Feb 20, 2017

This dazzling historical tale continues the Borgia epic that began in Blood and Beauty. Lucrezia is now on marriage three and is the newly minted duchess of Ferrara. Cesare is as power hungry as ever and is at the pinnacle of his career. Alexander VI is now an aging pope who is concerned about his family’s legacy. We see an introduction of a new voice, Niccolo Machiavelli, who is representing Florence’s interests but cannot help but be impressed by the machinations of the Borgia family. As always, Sarah Dunant succeeds in bringing history to life with her attention to detail and her well-fleshed out characters. She is not trying to erase Borgia’s bad reputation, but instead shed light on their very human motivations and desires. I appreciated that the author did not go for the story with the most scandal. Instead, she used the historical record to create a plausible telling of these characters and events. I especially enjoyed Machiavelli’s outsider perspective because it gave me an understanding of how contemporaries viewed this family. I would be hard pressed to find a complaint of this book other than I was left wishing for even more. The Borgias might still be a family we love to hate, but thanks to Sarah Dunant we might understand them a little more.

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