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The Life of Cesare Borgia [Paperback]

Rafael Sabatini

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Book Description

June 1 2004 1419169491 978-1419169496
This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing (June 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419169491
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419169496
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 19 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g

Product Description

About the Author

Rafael Sabatini (29 April 1875 - 13 February 1950) was an Italian/English writer of novels of romance and adventure. Rafael Sabatini was born in Iesi, Italy, to an English mother (Anna Trafford) and Italian father. His parents were opera singers who became teachers. His only son, Rafael-Angelo (nicknamed Binkie), was killed in a car crash on 1 April 1927. In 1931, he and his wife Ruth divorced. Later that year he moved from London to Hay-on-Wye. In 1935 he married the sculptor Christine Goad, his former sister-in-law. They suffered further tragedy when Christine's son, Lancelot, was killed in a flying accident. On the day he received his RAF wings, he flew his aeroplane over their house, but the plane went out of control and crashed in flames before their eyes. By the 1940s, illness forced the writer to slow his prolific method of composition. However, he did write several additional works even during that time. He died on 13 February 1950 in Switzerland. He is buried at Adelboden, Switzerland. On his headstone his wife had written, "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad", the first line of Scaramouche. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Although the House of Borgia, which gave to the Church of Rome two popes and at least one saint,(1) is to be traced back to the eleventh century, claiming as it does to have its source in the Kings of Aragon, we shall take up its history for our purposes with the birth at the city of Xativa, in the kingdom of Valencia, on December 30, 1378, of Alonso de Borja, the son of Don Juan Domingo de Borja and his wife Dona Francisca. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Judging A Book By Its Cover June 23 2014
By mehlsky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read Raphael Sabatini's work on the life of Cesare Borgia before, online and for free. The language is beautiful, courtly and elegant, and the author provides lots of backup evidence for his conclusions. I particularly like that his footnotes follow the paragraph in which they are contained, so the reader does not have to continually flip back and forth in the book to read the references. You know the old saying about not judging a book by its cover? Well, since I have already read this work, why did I buy this version of it for money? Did I judge this book by its cover? Oh, HELL yeah!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Eminence Cesare Feb. 20 2013
By Unclepeacock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The election of his father as pope in 1492 changed the fortunes of Cesare Borgia. Besides becoming an archbishop, he was also made a cardinal in 1493, with the titular church of Santa Maria Nova; he was now one of his father’s principal advisers. It was already clear, however, that he did not have a true religious vocation; he was better known at the papal court for his hunting parties, his amorous liaisons, and his magnificent clothes than for the meticulous observance of his ecclesiastical duties. He was also known for ordering murders, rapes and pillage. He is known to have said the Rosary at least twice a year. A real gentleman.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cesare Borgais July 27 2013
By Lorene Pare - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Such a fascinating man of his time and such an interesting story! The fact he really existed, made such a historical decision within the life of the Catholic Church, plus the fact he was a celebrity of his time, even though he was an intelligent man, he was really discounted for being who he was, which was like many other men and their actions of the time, Cesare was just more brilliant than most men of the time. Sabatini writes Cesare's story in such detail and comprehensive manner but also in a well descriptive language that makes this book such an excellent read!
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dated Jan. 31 2013
By Boyd Hone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Let's begin with Mario Puzo's THE FAMILY. Puzo has had a life-long passion for the Borgias, as have I. His book is both hilarious and hot. Take Astorre Manfredi. The kid was 18 and his brother 15. Astorre was the most handsome lad living at the time. Painters came from all around to do his portrait. He had also inherited a small kingdom that Cesare Borgia coveted. So Cesare convinces the kid to give him his spread in exchange for a few weeks in Rome, the then-equivalent to today's Vegas. Because Astorre knew he had no choice (due to Cesare's military superiority), he consented. The next scene has Astorre and Cesare in a hot tub (I'm not kidding!), although this one is of stone. Astorre puts his hand on Cesare's thigh, but Cesare gently moves it away, saying he's not that kind of guy (again, I'm not kidding). Later I'll tell you what happens to the most beautiful boy in Italy. Another scene: Cesare is in the apartments of his father, Pope Alexander VI, who's at his table writing. Cesare's caressing his sister Lucrezia but because he's not too gentle, Lucrezia calls for her father's assistance. This comes as no surprise since the old man is also an old pervert of the very worst kind (and as there's no real justice in life, he eventually dies in bed--he should have rotted in Hell, but there's also no Hell). The Pope her father takes over the caressing and then prompts his son to enter, deftly, nevertheless well-used portals, encouraging the boy to go gently by gently stroking his butt. One star.
E.R. Chamberlin's THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF BORGIA is old but complete. We learn that slaves could be bought for as little as six ducats, that Tartars were the best workers and Russians and Circassians best for one's bed. Prostitutes died penniless, justifying the saying the `'Venus reduces her worshipers to her own nudity.'' We learn that the gorgeous Astorre and his brother were murdered `'after they had sated the lust of a certain person,'' that person being Pope Alexander VI. One of Cesare's lieutenants was such a tyrant that `'he had thrust a clumsy page boy into the fire, pressing him down with a foot while the boy burned alive.'' Chamberlin doesn't hesitate to reveal gossip concerning Cesare, that he killed his own brother Juan in order to have access to Juan's wife Sancia and because both brothers, jealous of each other, wished to continue incestuous access to their sister Lucrezia.
Ivan Cloulas in THE BORGIAS brings us this quote from a playwright: Do people say that I am both your father and your lover? Let the world, that heap of vermin as ridiculous as they are feebleminded, believe the most absurd tale. The great law of the world is ... to grow and develop what is strongest and greatest in us. Walk straight ahead. Leave hesitation and scruples to small minds.
Marion Johnson in his THE BORGIAS tells us that Cesare had addressed questions to the scientist of the papal court about poisons; he wished to know the ways of poisoning cups, perfumes, flowers, saddles and ever stirrups (!!!).
I did read Rafael Sabatini's book THE LIFE OF CESARE BORGIA, but found it a bit outdated (1929).
Christopher Hibbert's THE BORGIAS AND THEIR ENEMIES tells us about Manfredi: `'Four days later the corpse had been fished out of the Tiber, drowned by a stone tied round his neck. This young man was of such beauty and stature that it would not be possible to find his equal among a thousand of his contemporaries.'' About Cesare: `'Cesar had fallen sick again of that illness of his. Now the flowers (as the syphilitic rashes were euphemistically known) are starting to bloom again.'' When Cesare married: `'He had consummated the matrimony eight times, but these eight times consisted of two before supper and six at night.'' Concerning the Pope, Cesare and his daughter during an orgy: `'At the end they displayed prizes, silk mantles, boots, caps and other objects which were promised to whomsoever should have made love to these prostitutes the greatest number of times.'' When it was reported to the Pope that his new son-in-law was sleeping with others than Lucrezia (`'It was reported that he took his pleasure with other women during the day'') the Pope said, `'Being young it does him good.'' Naturally, this is my favorite book. My own books can be found on Amazon under Michael Hone.

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