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Extended Audio Sample Lucrezia Borgia: Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Italy, by Sarah Bradford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,002 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sarah Bradford Narrator: Lorna Rave Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The very name Lucrezia Borgia conjures up everything that was sinister and corrupt about the Renaissance: incest, political assassination, papal sexual abuse, poisonous intrigue, unscrupulous power grabs. Yet, as bestselling biographer Sarah Bradford reveals in this breathtaking portrait, the truth is far more fascinating than the myth. Neither a vicious monster nor a seductive pawn, Lucrezia Borgia was a shrewd, determined woman who used her beauty and intelligence to secure a key role in the political struggles of her day.

Drawing from a trove of contemporary documents and fascinating firsthand accounts, Bradford brings to life the art, the pageantry, and the dangerous politics of the Renaissance world Lucrezia Borgia helped to create.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A lively view of Lucrezia, capturing the glamour and tragedy of her story.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Bradford’s zest for this era is contagious…makes clear the practical intelligence that proved the foundation for Lucrezia’s remarkable life.”

    USA Today

  • “The facts of Lucrezia’s case are sorted out from fiction by Bradford’s humanizing biography…Bradford’s readable biography resoundingly succeeds.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “What all biographies should aspire to be: meticulously researched and exquisitely written…A tender and intimate account of a misunderstood and passionate woman.”


  • “[A] biography that neither condemns nor exonerates the life of the notorious Renaissance femme fatale…A fascinating account of the true-life woman behind the Machiavellian legend.”

    Midwest Book Review

  • “This compelling biography is irresistibly interwoven with plenty of period gossip, sex, and intrigue.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “The listener is lucky to be in the capable hands of a great narrator to sort through the wealth of information and dense historical details of Renaissance Italy. Forget the titillating rumors you’ve heard about the Borgia family—the truth is far worse!…Yet Lucrezia still shines as a strong-willed, compassionate woman who bucked the odds, and with her brains and charm wove her way through one land mine after another to be happy and successful in her own right. Lorner Raver’s calm delivery is ideal as she guides the listener through one of the darkest times in history.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Georgina Thynne | 2/17/2014

    " An excellent biography of one of history's most villified women. Lucrezia Borgia's name is synonymous with incest, murder and corruption, yet the evidence shows that in fact she was a pawn of her father Pope Alexander VI and brother Cesar's ruthless ambition. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Miranda Henley | 1/30/2014

    " Still working on this one. I really want to become engrossed in this book, but I'm having a really hard time. There are so many people being discussed (at about 50 pages in, I haven't read much about Lucrezia herself), and it's very difficult to keep straight who is who, which makes it difficult for me to really care. This has several good reviews on here that have convinced me to not give completely up on it yet, but there are just as many reviews that concur with my opinions on the dryness and large scope of the text. So I'm not giving up, but I'm also not sure that I'll be able to finish. It feels like homework that I've assigned myself, and I haven't felt like I was doing homework in a long time. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Mark Kenneth | 1/26/2014

    " Sorry to say, but this book is a total pile-on of confusing names, dates and setups that still have not delivered for me 1/3 of the way in. This one was a hard slog and I give up. This book needed a better editor, who should of told Ms. brdford to stop packing so much in .... I mean just read here acknowlegment page with out your eyes going cross. I think good history should put things into context and tell a compelling story, give possible insights and illuminate the past. Also a book on Lucezia Borgia should cast the main character center stage or at least partly, this book failed to do this for me. Can any one suggest another book on Lucrezia Borgia that is factual, coherent and keeps your interest? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Jody | 1/25/2014

    " I really wanted to like this book, and I know this isn't fair, but it was so boring!! It was well researched and I love the idea of trying to correct how villainous lucrezia's reputation has become throughout history but the writing style is so dry. "

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