The House of Borgia: Background information when reading The Malice of Fortune

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Malice of Fortune

by Michael Ennis

The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis X
The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2012, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The House of Borgia

Print Review

The Borgia name is synonymous with corruption, crime, and scandal. In Malice of Fortune, several Borgia family members play both prominent and subtle roles against the backdrop of the Renaissance papacy.

Pope Alexander VI

Pope Alexander VI Born in Spain as Roderic Llançol i de Borja (Rodrigo Borgia), he studied law in Bologne before being appointed cardinal by his uncle, Pope Callixtus III. During his reign, Alexander VI became known for his illicit relationships, political corruption, and nepotism. In The Prince, Machiavelli writes that "Alexander VI did nothing but deceive men" (chapter XVIII).



Cesare, the Duke of Valentino

Cesare, Duke of Valentino Cesare is believed to be Rodrigo Borgia's oldest son and his ruthless political manner is often cited as Machiavelli's inspiration for The Prince. He was made cardinal by his father upon his graduation from university, and was known for being a skillful soldier.



Lucrezia, the Duchess of Ferrera

Lucrezia Rumored to have had an incestuous relationship with her brother Cesare, Lucrezia was used as a political pawn by her father, who arranged her multiple marriages. She also had a reputation - of debatable accuracy - of being a cunning poisoner.



Giovanni, the Duke of Gandia

Giovanni Also referred to by his Spanish name, Juan, in The Malice of Fortune, Giovanni's unsolved murder drove his grief-stricken father, Alexander VI, to launch large investigations. His death marks the beginning of Michael Ennis's novel.

This article was originally published in November 2012, and has been updated for the June 2013 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Call Me American
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    Driving Miss Norma
    by Ramie Liddle, Tim Bauerschmidt
    In my cultural life, I've met and been awed by two Normas: The demanding, clueless, fiercely ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    A hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Place for Us
    by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel

Patel's stories introduce a bold and timely new literary voice.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A P Saved I A P E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.