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In the Name of the Family

A Novel

About the Book

Bestselling novelist Sarah Dunant has long been drawn to the wonders of Renaissance Italy: power, passion, beauty, brutality, and the ties of blood. With In the Name of the Family, she offers a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia’s final years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolò Machiavelli.

It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womanizer and master of political corruption, is now on the papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two—already three times married and a pawn in her father’s plans—is discovering her own power. And then there is his son Cesare Borgia, brilliant, ruthless, and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with Machiavelli that gives the Florentine diplomat a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What he learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince. But while the pope rails against old age and his son’s increasingly maverick behavior, it is Lucrezia who must navigate the treacherous court of Urbino and another challenging marriage to create her own place in history.

Sarah Dunant again employs her remarkable gifts as a storyteller to bring to life the passionate men and women of the Borgia family, as well as the ever compelling figure of Machiavelli, through whom the reader will experience one of the most fascinating—and doomed—dynasties of all time.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Dazzling . . . a triumph on an epic scale . . . filled with rich detail and page-turning drama.” —BookPage

“Dunant transforms the blackhearted Borgias and the conniving courtiers and cardinals of Renaissance Europe into fully rounded characters, brimming with life and lust.” —New York Times Book Review

“The Machiavellian atmosphere-hedonism, lust, political intrigue-is magnetic. . . . Readers won’t want the era of Borgia rule to end.” —People

“Compelling female players have been a characteristic of Dunant’s earlier novels, and this new offering is no exception. . . . The members of this close-knit family emerge as dynamic characters, flawed but sympathetic, filled with fear and longing.” —Seattle Times

“With a vibrant cast of characters both iconic, including the vastly influential Niccolò Machiavelli, and rarely highlighted, Dunant’s captivating Renaissance Italian saga will thrill her fans and bring more into the fold.” —Booklist

“Full to the brim with vivid historical details both gory and beautiful. . . . Skillfully drawn characters and an excellent sense of place will entice readers of historicals, especially those who are interested in the Italian Renaissance.” —Library Journal

“’Which one of us will go down in history?’ asks Cesare of Machiavelli. There are many words written about both. . . . However Dunant has a storyteller’s instincts for the telling detail and the broad sweep of history. This, and her glorious prose make Dunant’s version irresistible.” —The Times (UK)

“A thrilling period vividly brought to life.” —Woman & Home (UK)

“In the end, what’s a historical novelist’s obligation to the dead? Accuracy? Empathy? Justice? Or is it only to make them live again? Dunant pays these debts with a passion.” —Washington Post

“As vivid a recreation of the Renaissance past as its predecessor.” —Sunday Times (London)

“An intimate knowledge of Renaissance history powers a story crackling with energy.” —Daily Mail (UK)

“Doing what Hilary Mantel did for Thomas Cromwell, Sarah Dunant tackles the lives of Niccoló Machiavelli, the Borgias . . . with total ease. Open it, and become utterly swept up, then, spend the next three days on Wikipedia googling Every. Single. Character.” —Emerald Street

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443406475
  • ISBN 10: 1443406473
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 03/07/2017
  • Pages: 448
  • List Price: 32.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / General

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant

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