City of God: a novel of the Borgias

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Knopf ; distributed by Random House, 1979 - Fiction - 273 pages
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User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

One of Holland's later books which I like much less. The protagonist is an unheroic courtier/scholar at the court of Pope Alexander VI who makes a disastrous fool of himself over a very na´ve ... Read full review

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User Review  - FicusFan - LibraryThing

I find the Borgias fascinating. I also like historical fiction. I really wanted to like this book more, but something held me back. I guess it was that I never lost myself in the story as I do with ... Read full review

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About the author (1979)

Born in Henderson, Nevada, Cecelia Holland was educated at Pennsylvania State University and Connecticut College, where she received her B.A. degree. She has served as a visiting professor of English at Connecticut College since 1979. Holland's historical novels have received broad critical acclaim. According to one critic, she "proves that there can be more to historical thrillers than swordplay and seduction." (Time) Among her novels is City of God (1979), which is set in Rome during the period of the Borgia family. Told from the point of view of Nicolas, a secretary to the Florentine ambassador to Rome, this novel brings to life the period of the Renaissance, including the political intrigue that characterized Rome at the time. Other works include Until the Sun Falls (1969), a story of the ancient Mongols and their empire, The Firedrake (1966), her first published novel, Great Maria (1974), The Bear Flag (1990), and Pacific Street (1991). Holland is very adept at capturing the period she writes about, including the clothing, furnishings, and customs of the time. One critic has noted that Holland "is never guilty of the fatuity which plagues most historical fiction: she never nudges the reader into agreeing that folks way back then were really just like you and me, only they bathed less often.

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