Lucrezia Borgia (2004) Myth perpetuates Lucrezia Borgia, 16th-century Duchess of Ferrara, as a vile, scheming floozy with a penchant for political assassination, adultery, and incest. But according to… 2004-10-21 Nonfiction
Book Review

Lucrezia Borgia (2004)

Details Release Date: Oct 21, 2004; Writer: Sarah Bradford; Genre: Nonfiction

Myth perpetuates Lucrezia Borgia, 16th-century Duchess of Ferrara, as a vile, scheming floozy with a penchant for political assassination, adultery, and incest. But according to Bradford's pedantic account, the illegitimate daughter of nefarious Pope Alexander VI was more human — and perhaps more boring — than centuries-old legend would lead you to believe. Using historical documents, including firsthand accounts, Sarah Bradford paints the duchess in Lucrezia Borgia as a fiercely passionate, astute woman with a talent for using her independence, reputation, and sexual prowess to help mend politically fractured Renaissance Italy. Too often, though, the dense, detailed-laden biography buckles under its own weight — do we really need to know how many times she had sex in a night? Some things are better left unsaid.

Originally posted Oct 29, 2004 Published in issue #790 Oct 29, 2004 Order article reprints