The Borgias: The Lives and Legacies of Rodrigo, Cesare, and Lucrezia Borgia

  • by Charles River Editors
  • Narrated by Joseph Chialastri
  • 3 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"Alexander never did what he said. Cesare never said what he did." (Italian proverb)
The stories and legends attributed to the Borgias have made them one of the most notorious families in history. Five hundred years after their deaths, they have come to be associated more with incest, political intrigue, murder, and state-sponsored violence.
While 21st-century TV series have cast the Borgias as the first organized crime family, the rumors spread by the family's political opponents in the late 15th century have taken hold among a fascinated public. Did Cesare really have an incestuous relationship with sister Lucrezia? Did the pope really throw lavish orgies?
While Rodrigo may not have been as colorful or criminal as the enduring legends, there is no question he was manipulative, ruthless and ultimately effective. From an administrative standpoint, Rodrigo was a success as Pope Alexander VI, with a big assist from son Cesare. In one of the most famous political treatises in history, Niccolo Machiavelli famously advised those who hold power that it is better to be feared than loved.
The world has always had a fascination with femme fatales, and few historical women have ever been portrayed as one quite like Lucrezia Borgia. Lucrezia is a baseless, immoral villain in Victor Hugo's Lucrezia Borgia, and she continues to be depicted as a schemer and manipulator on par with her famous brother and father in film and critically acclaimed television series.
The great irony is that Lucrezia's reputation seems to be wildly at odds with the actual woman herself.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

worst performance ever

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I love the information, the Borgias are interesting history. The author knows his stuff. The narrator was and is horrid. I keep thinking he will take a break and listen to how he is speaking. Almost every sentence his voice goes up, incredibly irritating.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Non fiction


How could the performance have been better?

Edit after one chapter and then say, yikes, i need a coach. i need to edit. i need another job!


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I love the information, the Borgias are interesting history. The author knows his stuff. The narrator was and is horrid. I keep thinking he will take a break and listen to how he is speaking. Almost every sentence his voice goes up, incredibly irritating.


Any additional comments?

the narrator either needs to get a new job or way more training.

Read full review

- zoee maxwell

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-09-2015
  • Publisher: Charles River Editors