Having read Mary Hollingsworth’s new release, ‘The Borgias: History’s most notorious dynasty’ we are inspired to share with you how this family managed to achieve such a reputation.
The saying goes that you can’t choose your family, and thank god, as i wouldn’t choose to be part of the Borgia clan. From deceit and treachery to sordid incestual scandals, the Borgia family have gone down in history as a self-involved band that would do pretty much anything to keep hold of the Popery.
So, would you have liked to been born into one of the most power hungry and scandalous families in history? Let’s meet a couple of your potential family members to help you decide…
Rodrigo, or Pope Alexander VI, was a bit of a letch by all accounts. As a member of the clergy, Rodrigo’s dalliances with numerous mistresses were frowned upon…and so were his pornographic tendencies. However, one woman seemed to have some kind of staying power, since Rodrigo fathered four illegitimate children by his chief mistress, Vanozza de Cattanei; sons Giovanni, Cesare, and Gioffre, and daughter Lucrezia.
Despite the evident love and devotion he bore for his children, Rodrigo wasn’t afraid to use them as pawns for his own gain. No wonder they turned out slightly off kilter!
Cesare was a gem. He may have murdered his sister’s husband, and most probably killed his own brother Juan. Oh and we forgot, he was also getting it on with his younger brother wife, Sancha of Aragon. Also, for a man who started off in the cloth as a Cardinal he still managed to father 11 illegitimate children.
Perhaps the most well-known and talked about Borgia. Lucrezia had a good heart but put the Borgia family first, which meant it didnt take long for her to become as corrupt as the others. Unfortunatly for Lucrezia she was burdened with great beauty, and as a result used as an almighty pawn in th Borgi game of alliances, being married off a total of 3 times!
As far as scandals and rumour go, Lucrezia enjoyed her fair share. Some say she poisoned her lovers and enemies using a specially-made ring holding the poison, La Cantarella. Also, it has long been debated whether Lucrezia was involved in the murder of her second husband, who died at the hand of her brother Cesare. Who knows?
So, knowing what you now know, would you want still to be part of this family?
If you are clinically insane and feel like you need to know more before you make the decision, you can read all about it in Hollingworths book. We’ve given it a read and it’s brilliant. Mostly because all our knowledge on the Borgias to date has been gathered from Showtimes ‘The Borgias’ which begins from the point where Rodrigo was elected pope at the ripe age of 61. The first half of the book takes us through Rodrigo’s journey prior to that moment, and it’s absolutley fasinating. It demonstrates what an incredibly skilled diplomat he was, which is sometimes overshadowed by all that scandal. Whether you want to join or not, make sure you pick up a copy of the book as it’s a scorching, enlightening read; and we thoroughly recommend it.