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on 15 October 2013
Loved this book - this lady really knew how to lead. And I will forgive her for being a bit of a walk over for the man of her dreams. thought this book was really well written.
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on 11 November 2013
After watching the "Lives of the Borgias" on TV,this gave a much more truthful understanding of "The Tigress" nice to have her bones "fleshed out"
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on 4 August 2014
An excellently presented story if the awe inspiring Caterina Sforza. A must read if you like reading about powerful women of bygone times. Will definitely read again!
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on 8 December 2013
I like all historical books ,but this writing puts you right there as though going through the turmoil with the Countess. And I have learnt so much more about Italy.
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on 6 May 2013
Carefully researched and documented history which puts certain tv series into perspective.Politics and religion given a realistic and
understandable background.
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on 17 November 2013
takes you to another world ,what a women ! what a life! i have been to some of the places were caterina sforza lived .was in awe of what she went through..
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on 8 May 2013
Caterina Sforza is not an obviously sympathetic character, but Elizabeth Lev won me over to her (warts and all). Very well and very passionately written.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2014
Most people associate the Renaissance with pretty pictures and nice buildings. Judging from the life of Caterina Sforza, this period had a decidedly nasty and violent aspect as well. Poor Caterina lost not only her father but also two husbands, one lover and possibly a brother to murder. The suspects for the latter two murders very much included her son, respectively her famous uncle (Ludovico 'the Moor'). With a bit less good luck and less cold-bloodedness on her side, all her seven children would have been whacked as well.

As if this was not enough, she had to marry at the tender age of ten, with a husband twenty years older who insisted on immediate 'consummation' of the marriage. Her husband also suffered from an unfortunate combination of bloodthirst and cowardice which got him in all sorts of trouble; thankfully his connections to the powerful della Rovere family and Caterina's Sforza background (she was the bastard daughter of the duke of Milan) eventually made it possible for him and Caterina to install themselves in Forli and Imola, mini-statelets in the Romagna region.

It was here that Caterina obtained her greatest fame by bravely resisting the French invasion of 1494 (unlike most of her compatriots) and by thwarting a number of coups against her rule, employing clever ruses and bloody measures as required. The all time high (or low) was the epic siege in 1499/1500 by the evil Cesare Borgia, supported by his French allies, of which I won't give away the ending.

A most eventful life obviously, and a story very well told. Recommended reading.
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on 26 November 2014
Very interesting book that changed my view on the Borgia's. Will now have to look for more on one of history's greatest woman
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on 3 March 2013
This was a revelationh - I loved every page - what a wonderful woman. Started a whole new interest in Italian History
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