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Blood and Beauty - Sarah Dunant


Published: 30th April 2013
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RRP $29.99

The thrilling new novel from the bestselling author of the bestselling Italian Renaissance novels The Birth Of Venus, In The Company Of The Courtesan and Sacred Hearts.

Acclaimed novelist of the Italian Renaissance Sarah Dunant now takes on the era's most infamous family: the Borgias. By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and in the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: he is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women and power must use papacy and family to succeed.

His eldest son Cesare, a dazzlingly cold intelligence and an even colder soul, is his greatest - though increasingly unstable - weapon. Later immortalised in Machiavelli's The Prince, he provides the energy and the muscle. His daughter Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is the prime dynastic tool. Twelve years old when the novel opens, hers is a journey through three marriages: from childish innocence to painful experience, from pawn to political player.

Stripping away the myths around the Borgias, Blood & Beauty is a majestic novel that breathes life into this astonishing family and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex and relentless.

Read Caroline Baum's Review:

Oh those naughty naughty Borgias! Incest, corruption, murder, you name it, they did it and some of them looked pretty good while they were at their crimes and debauchery, living in opulent palaces and wearing gorgeous robes. No wonder they continue to exert endless fascination. Today they’d be making sex tapes and running drug cartels and white slavery networks wearing designer labels.

Dunant has made the Renaissance her own the way Mantel has the Tudors though she does not attempt to replicate Mantel’s dazzling feat of getting inside the head of a central character. Instead she roams like an intrusive but hidden camera into the halls and bedchambers where power is exercised. She has the appetite to capture the Borgia’s venality with energy, relishing every detail of excess and intrigue, sensuality and brutality. Her readers will look forward to the second installment. About the Author

Sarah Dunant is the author of six crime novels for which she won two Silver Daggers. Cultural commentator - for many years she presented The Late Show - she was editor of War of the Words (Virago 1994). Her two previous novels, Transgressions And Mapping The Edge, were the subject of major acclaim.


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Blood and Beauty

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Blood and Beauty, Sarah Dunant

By Raffles

from Hobart, Tasmania

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer


  • Engaging characters
  • Informative
  • Page-Turner
  • Well Written


    Best Uses

    • Older Readers

    Comments about Blood and Beauty:

    as always with sarah Dunant's books they are a slow start but then she sweeps you up and finally, you can't put the book down. I have all her books and each is a real pleasure to read and re-read. NOW I have to wait for the rest of the Borgia story - please tell her to hurry up - I am suspended between Sarah and Hilary Mantel and I am not getting younger:-)

    Comment on this review

    ISBN: 9781844087440
    ISBN-10: 1844087441
    Audience: General
    Format: Paperback
    Language: English
    Number Of Pages: 544
    Published: 30th April 2013
    Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
    Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.3  x 3.9
    Weight (kg): 0.68
    Edition Number: 1