All we ever seem to hear about the Borgia family are the perpetuated untruths established years ago. After reading a work of historical fiction (which portrays this family in typical notorious fashion), it was refreshing to read G.J. Meyer’s work: The Borgias, which seeks to peel back the fiction and give the reader a more balanced perspective on this family.
Meyer begins by explaining the origins of the Borgia family’s Spanish roots and how they led to the Vatican. Chapter by chapter, Meyer deftly unravels what is actually known about Pope Alexander VI (aka Rodrigo Borgia), and the family members that were assumed to be his children.
If you watch the Showtime series or read historical novels about the Borgia family, themes of corruption, seduction, incest, murder and nepotism leap out at you. G.J. Meyer, however, claims that there is no evidence to show that these accusations are even remotely true.
In a nutshell, Meyer argues that most of the “dirt” about this family originated after the death of Pope Alexander VI by his enemies, and there were no historical documents during this lifetime that even mentioned the possibility of wrongdoing of the caliber that he is known for today.
The Borgias is a well-written, interesting work of non-fiction. I recommend to anyone who is curious to know a more truthful rendering of the Borgia family history.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2013