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Publishers Weekly, 1989-03-17 Cloulas, conservator-in-chief of the French National Archives, here follows the lives of the most notorious members of the infamous Renaissance family: Alonso Borgia, the nepotistic Spanish cleric who became Pope Calixtus III; his licentious nephew, Rodrigo, who became Pope Alexander VI; Rodrigo's son, the treacherous Cesare, who was determined to bring much of Italy under Borgia control; Rodrigo's vilified daughter, Lucrezia; and the pious Francis, Rodrigo's great-grandson, who was later canonized. Cloulas presents his colorful account dispassionately; indeed, it takes little to make lively reading out of the details of this family tale--lawlessness, murder, debauchery, incest, political intrigue, fratricide, adultery and a host of other depravities speak for themselves. Stories about the Borgias have excited curiosity for centuries, and this lucidly written history, much of it based on accounts by their contemporaries, should serve to keep the fascination alive. (Apr.)
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