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The Borgias have become a byword for pride, lust, cruelty, avarice, splendour and venomous intrigue. An inspiration for many works of fiction, most famously Mario Puzo's The Godfather, they have aroused abomination and fascination in almost equal measure, while their patronage of the arts created some of the great masterpieces of the Renaissance.
From the powerful, merciless Rodrigo Borgia, better known as Pope Alexander VI, to the beautiful Lucrezia and the debauched and murderous Cesare, Mary Hollingsworth's account of the dynasty's dramatic rise from its Spanish roots to the heights of Renaissance society forms a compelling tale of brutality, incest, unparalleled corruption and extortionate greed.
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