Daughter of Pope Alexander VI
by Ferdinand Gregorovius
with an introduction by Samantha Morris
Lucrezia Borgia is among the most fascinating and controversial personalities of the Renaissance. The daughter of Pope Alexander VI, she was intensely involved in the political life of Italy during the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. While her marriage alliances helped advance the political objectives of the papacy, she also held the office of Governor of Spoleto, a role normally reserved for Cardinals, making her one of the most powerful and dynamic female figures of the Renaissance. Among the first books to employ historical methods to move beyond myth and romance that had obscured the fascinating story of Lucrezia Borgia was the biography written by the noted German historian Ferdinand Gregorovius.
Ferdinand Gregorovius (1821-1891) was one of the preeminent scholars of the Italian Renaissance. His biography of Lucrezia Borgia reveals the atmosphere of the Renaissance, painting a portrait of Lucrezia and her relationships with her father Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, her brother Cesare, her mother Vanozza, her father’s mistress, Giulia Farnese, her husband Duke Alfonso D’Este of Ferrara, and many others, including important artists and writers of the time. All are vividly portrayed against the colorful background of Renaissance Italy. Gregorovius separates myth from documented fact and his book remains a key reference work on the life and times of the Borgia princess.
This new edition of Gregorovius’s classic work Lucrezia Borgia is enhanced with an introduction by Samantha Morris, a noted expert on the history of the Borgias. Samantha studied archaeology at the University of Winchester where her interest in the history of the Italian Renaissance began. She is the author of Cesare Borgia: In a Nutshell and Girolamo Savonarola: The Renaissance Preacher. She also runs the website theborgiabull.com.