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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EVEN MORE REMARKABLE BECAUSE IT'S TRUE
It was Rome, 1483. If ever a baby was doomed by birth, it was Felice Della Rovere. The odds were stacked against her. She was female and illegitimate. Nonetheless she rose above the liabilities of birth to become the most powerful woman in Rome. The story of her life, as related by Harvard art historian Caroline P. Murphy is fascinating, as her achievements rival...
Published on 19 Jun 2005 by Gail Cooke

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
Although an abundance of letters and other material on and from Felice della Rovere has survived, I found this book oddly unengaging. It does not help to get you involved in the story that the mjority of the chapters is not longer than 3-4 pages.

The majority of the content deals at lenght with the fact that Felice ran her household and investments...
Published on 27 Nov 2005


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EVEN MORE REMARKABLE BECAUSE IT'S TRUE, 19 Jun 2005
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Pope's Daughter (Hardcover)
It was Rome, 1483. If ever a baby was doomed by birth, it was Felice Della Rovere. The odds were stacked against her. She was female and illegitimate. Nonetheless she rose above the liabilities of birth to become the most powerful woman in Rome. The story of her life, as related by Harvard art historian Caroline P. Murphy is fascinating, as her achievements rival those of any contemporary woman.
It was one thing to be born illegitimate during the Renaissance, quite another to be the illegitimate daughter of Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere who would become Pope Julius II. Not a gentle leader, Julius was known as "The Warrior Pope," one who despised and reviled the rather hedonistic lifestyles of the Borgias. Nonetheless, he was in some ways a helpful father, seeing to the advantageous marriage of his daughter to a member of the wealthy Orsini family, which gave Felice access to the means necessary to amass a personal estate. Felice had been married once before but left a young widow. (The name of her first husband could not be traced).
She was raised in her mother's home and learned much of intrigue and manipulation during her formative years. When her father was elected to the papacy she became quite useful to him as a runner of errands. She was witness to the painting of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo, and the laying of a foundation for a new St. Peter's. Felice may well have inherited her ambition from her father who sought greater Roman power.
Upon the death of Julius II, Felice used the Orsini family influence to become a friend of cardinals. She understood politics well, and used this knowledge to great advantage. Even the sack of Rome in 1527 did not see her downfall, as she successfully arranged safe passage for herself and her offspring to Urbino.
Murphy enriches Felice's story with myriad details regarding her daily life, whether it is the overseeing of servants, seeing to her gardens and wine cellars, cosseting the influential, bribing officials, or even arranging a murder, which we are told was commonplace in that day and time.
Felice's story may have been lost to us for half a century, but after reading "The Pope's Daughter" this incredible woman will not be forgotten again.
- Gail Cooke
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling heroine, alluring city, 2 Mar 2006
This review is from: The Pope's Daughter (Paperback)
I found this story about Felice della Rovere completely compelling. It really succeeds at providing a portrait of a feisty and determined woman, amazingly so for her time and it’s quite remarkable how long it has taken for her to be rediscovered. The world in which she lives also comes through really well. You get a tremendous sense of Rome's magnificence, but also its human scale. The short chapters allow you to read a bit at a time, especially helpful if you haven’t time to read a lot at one sitting, and I liked that each chapter heading is accompanied by a drawing or print from the period, which adds to the picture of life in Renaissance Rome. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A story of the turbulent times of Rome and the papacy., 16 April 2014
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This review is from: The Pope's Daughter (Paperback)
Had to concentrate when reading this book as there are so many people mentioned. Not an easy read but very informative. Shone a light on a period of history I was not very familiar with. Before this I had just finished Leonie Frieda's The Deadly Sisterhood and some characters were in both books. This probably helped and made The Popes Daughter fall more into context. Perhaps I should have looked up some general history of Italy for this period before I started on these books.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 27 Nov 2005
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This review is from: The Pope's Daughter (Hardcover)
Although an abundance of letters and other material on and from Felice della Rovere has survived, I found this book oddly unengaging. It does not help to get you involved in the story that the mjority of the chapters is not longer than 3-4 pages.

The majority of the content deals at lenght with the fact that Felice ran her household and investments independently of her husband or family in an era in which that was highly unusual. Thrilling at that may have been at the time, it did not make the book really "unputdownable" to me. I found this book in a way very informative, but hardly enthralling.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sing the hymm of praise for the deliverence of such a book!, 4 July 2006
This review is from: The Pope's Daughter (Paperback)
Wow! What a story! I bought this because i was intrigued by the title but it appear to have beena good judgment. Felice was such a wonderful character and Caroline P Murphy put this info into an outstanding book. Precise and plenty of backgroung information, relavant and all you need to know! Strange how many Pope's that had a least one child, Im sure the catholics were not best pleased!
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The Pope's Daughter
The Pope's Daughter by Caroline P. Murphy (Paperback - 19 Jan 2006)
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