NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Monday, July 6, 2009


by Christopher Hibbert

Published in 2008, "[t]he first major biography of the Borgias in thirty years" (from the jacket flap), The Borgias and Their Enemies: 1431-1519 is exactly what you'd expect: A nonfiction account of the rise and fall of Pope Alexander VI and his children, most notably Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia. And it's a very readable one at that! In fact, it's so readable that I need someone in the know to tell me if this author, Christopher Hibbert, is by chance any relation to Eleanor Hibbert a/k/a Jean Plaidy, because I felt like I was reading Madonna of the Seven Hills all over again!

I don't mean that in a bad way. I found it very interesting that the research and conclusions ran so amazingly parallel and that Christopher Hibbert's fast moving style is so reminiscent of Plaidy's fiction writing. Not to mention the identical last names raising a bit of a question. :-) I'm still working on my fascination with the Borgias, but with the things I've read so far, I'm coming to the conclusion that Lucrezia may have received a seriously undeserved bad rap by being the daughter of a corrupt pope and the sister of a cruel megalomaniac. I have a few more books on the subject to investigate, but for now I highly recommend this work to anyone looking for a recent publication on this notorious family.


J.T. Oldfield said...

I've had a fascination with Lucrezia Borgia for a long long time. There don't seem to be a lot of really accurate studies of them though. I'll have to check this out!

Lezlie said...

J.T. ~ Her legend is truly interesting. No one really seems to know the real story, but the worst of the rumors appear to be just that: Rumors. But one never knows. . . . I just picked up a biography of Lucrezia from the library yesterday, so we'll see what that one has to say! :-) This one was really good though for an overall look at the Borgia family.


Michele said...

I just started reading another non-fiction about Lucrezia Borgia recently and am just started to dig into this fascinating woman. I'll put this one on my list, too.

Lezlie said...

Michele ~ Which one are you reading? I just picked one up by Sarah Bradford that I'm hoping to get to soon.


Iliana said...

Oh now you are onto a mystery :) Hope you find out if he is indeed related to Plaidy.

I find the Borgia's very interesting too so I'm going to have to put this one on my list.

Lezlie said...

Iliana ~ I can't find any information on that anywhere! I'm not even sure if Ms. Hibbert had children or not. Maybe he's a son or possibly related to her husband? I just have no clue!