Delicious passionate history of Cesare Borgia.
No, says Rafael Sabatini in the distant 1912 when his book was published for the first time, Cesare was not the bloodthirsty monster as he emerges from history. But a (brilliant) man of his time, that yes, committed atrocities. But not the murder of his brother like 'history' judges.
Sabatini may be a novelist, he wrote this book as a historian. He is interested in primary sources, not the chewing of old history concepts, such as 'Herr Gregorovius' (Sabatini's quote) did. And very important, which everyone always forgets: he applies source criticism! What is the point to trust a contemporary source when he is the envoy of a regime hostile to the Borgias, or an envoy to Rome who was not present at the time of an 'event' (poisoning, murder, orgy ...)?
Sabatini has in this way convinced me a 100% that Cesare had no role in the murder of his brother Juan (Giovanni).
Sometimes in his defense of Cesare Sabatini goes too far. That's part of the deal. For example: an orgy in the Vatican in 1501 about which Burchard, the papal maestro of ceremonies (and who is rightfully a trustful source to Sabatini), wrote Sabatini does not believe that it took place by subverting Burchard!
This publication (print on demand?) is not the niciest book i had in hands: sometimes words are cut in two (a mysterious hand touches the space bar?). The book smells unpleasant.