Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now
Blood & Beauty and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £7.99
  • You Save: £4.14 (52%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Blood & Beauty has been added to your Basket
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Blood & Beauty Paperback – 3 Apr 2014

148 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
£0.01 £0.01
Audio CD, Audiobook
"Please retry"
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

*Three Paperbacks for £10 Offer
This title is in our Three Paperbacks for £10 promotion. Click here to see the full range. Offer only applies to Qualifying Items dispatched from and sold by Amazon. It does not apply to purchases made from third-party sellers at’s Marketplace platform.
£3.85 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Buy three paperback titles for £10 from the qualifying selection, when dispatched from and sold by Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Frequently Bought Together

  • Blood & Beauty
  • +
  • In The Company Of The Courtesan
  • +
  • The Birth Of Venus
Total price: £21.83
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (3 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184408745X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844087457
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


A wonderful novel - taking you deep into the world of Renaissance passion and the Renaissance papacy. Part of me was happily lost in the time travel, part of me repeatedly struck by how vividly ancient Rome met modern Rome, and how the city of history came to life. (Mary Beard)

Blood & Beauty is a fascinating read full of vivid detail and human pathos. Dunant opens a window into the extraordinary machinations and skullduggery of the Borgias and provides us with a richness of description that beautifully locates them within their own time. (Amanda Foreman)

What a marvellous feast of vices and desires Sarah Dunant gives us in Blood & Beauty - lust and ambition, passion and power, destiny born and bought. The Borgias are arguably the most intriguing and ruthless family in all of history, and Dunant brings them ravishingly, bristlingly to life. Absolutely convincing on every page. I was enthralled. (Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife)

An ambitious, thrilling read from a novelist at the height of her powers. The Borgias leap from the page . . . the book offers total immersion in an alien Rome (The Times)

Book Description

Acclaimed novelist of the Italian Renaissance Sarah Dunant now takes on the era's most infamous family: the Borgias.

See all Product Description

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 14 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderfully engaging re-telling of the Borgia family story from Roderigo's election as Pope Alexander VI in 1492 to Lucrezia's third marriage into the d'Este family in 1502. Dunant resists just churning out the usual scurrilous stories of incest, poisoning, murder and decadence, and instead offers a more complex tale of complicated politics and characters.

The narrative is marked by a sly wit: `the Pope sits in darkness in his bedchamber. Recently his legs have been causing him trouble. Perhaps he is not used to spending so much time on his knees', and is clear-sighted about the characters: `To be lauded as a hero for a battle that everyone knows you didn't win could be a burden as much as a triumph. Juan, however, manages to remain oblivious'.

At the book's heart is Roderigo (pope, devoted family man, easily moved to tears yet ruthless when necessary) and the wonderfully menacing and yet dangerously charismatic Cesare who steals every scene in which he appears. Dunant manages his portrait sensitively and gives him a psychological acuity frequently missing from the more sensationalist literature: her treatment of the capture of Caterina Sforza, for example, is masterly.

Dunant's previous Renaissance books haven't really worked for me but I loved this. It's one of those rare books that I wanted to read slowly to savour the pleasure of every page - and I can't wait for the second volume in the story. This is one of my favourite reads of the year so far - highly recommended.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca, London on 2 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
Be prepared - this will take over your life for several days. It's like watching a series of Renaissance frescos come to life and movement. Every scene is written with such beautiful attention to detail - to colours and textures and smells - but is also devoted to understanding the members of this extraordinary family on their own terms, not as bill boards for contemporary standards of morality. Dunant allows us to make up our own minds. She's a time-traveller with a transgressive curiosity: she's drawn to the doors with the No Entry signs so you end up seeing into the places no one has really dared to look before: bedrooms, kitchens, gardens as well as the corridors of power. The pacing is fast but the counterpointed reflective scenes are often moving and tender, so that you see the machinations of power and then the moments of vulnerability. A fascinating read.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is the summer of 1492 and the death of Pope Innocent VIII has left the papal throne empty, ready for the new incumbent. In Conclave, Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia is busy doing what he does best - plotting. Never one to embark on anything half heartedly, his gleeful shouts of, "I am Pope!" lack dignity, but show us what lies ahead. For Rodrigo Borgia is a new kind of pontiff; unashamedly using nepotism to advance the careers of his children, making political alliances, waging war and always plotting for more power. This is historical fiction at its best - sumptuous and rich in detail, with characters you can sympathise with and care about. The author really makes this era come alive as she unravels the myths of the Borgia family and tells the story of their rise and the beginnings of their fall.

Much of our sympathy is focused on Lucrezia, who, although adored and petted by her father and elder brother, Cesare, soon finds that her main use is in the marriage market. Cesare is, of course, the ultimate in jaunty evil. Given as a hostage by his father, he casually remarks, "I think, if it meets with your approval, I will not go the whole way..." There is a great deal of tension between Cesare and brother Juan; while younger brother Jofre is portrayed as the typical spoilt and petulant youngest child. The author manages to get the right balance of intrigue, fear, naked ambition and danger into the storyline, which rattles along at a great pace. This would be ideal summer reading at the beach - a fantastic story, wonderful setting and a family we seem to never tire of reading about.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Paige Turner on 6 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
Get ready to clear your calendars and cancel your weekend plans because i could not put this book down! It's clearly all based on solid fact but she made the characters so alive and real it was like watching a movie in history class. I really appreciated the way in which the family interacted with each other because they seemed like real people and this made me actually care about what they did and what happened to them. I didn't know much about the complexities of the politics before reading this book and so her ability to clearly lay out the political landscape/drama made it all the more compelling.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Hannahrc on 3 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
From the moment the 65 year old Rodrigo Borgia shouts `I am Pope' and the next page reveals his teenage daughter Lucrezia sleeping next to his young mistress Guilia, the pace never slackens in this operatic unfolding of the great dysfunctional dynasty in Renaissance Europe.

I had a rather clouded view of the Borgias as the ultimate cruel and corrupted family, especially of the daughter Lucrezia, who has gathered a reputation over time as the face of depravity. But this book plunged me into the heart of a family of talented, seductive individuals consistently conflicted between love and loyalty.

I have loved Sarah Dunant's Renaissance novels for the way in which she chooses to show that turbulent period from a woman's perspective: she now moves from brilliantly researched fiction to a fictional perspective on these larger than life historical figures who 500 years have been centre-stage for gossip, spin and misrepresentation.

The Borgias were of course ruthless and cruel but the book does the brilliant job of giving context and human dimensions to the outsider family who set out to conquer Europe. Starting with the master politician, Rodrigo, who seizes the power offered by the papacy to further his dynasty, the book shows how the four children play their part in his vision of a Borgia empire. They shape-shift, they rewrite history and they transgress - with this goal in mind. But what becomes clear is how the complex ties of emotion between the different members of the family are drawn ever deeper as expediency takes precedent over personal feeling.

The blood of the title is the ambition of the family as well as blood carelessly spilt: the beauty is the seductive charm of the brothers and the daughter and sister who bow to their father's political will.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category