Review: The Pope’s Daughter by Caroline P Murphy

Image thought to be Felice Della Rovere

Image thought to be Felice Della Rovere

As I have confessed here before I struggle with historical biographies as a genre. The talent of writing up the research in a non academic, reader friendly way is the key to a good historical biography in my humble opinion.

I brought this book at a charity shop and I can honestly say it is the best charity shop book find I have found. The book is about Felice della Rovere. The daughter of a cardinal and later Julius II, Felice marries twice and in between marriages enjoys financial independence. She is well educated and is a humanist. She mixes with leading academics and poets of the late medieval and early renaissance Italy.

She saw Rome change and blossom into a renaissance gem and it destroyed in the sack. Before the sake she remarries in to the Orsini family in Rome and uses her wealth to become an independent land owner. She is shrewd business woman. She has awful in laws, horrible step children; she was the single wealthiest woman in Rome at the time of the Sack. She had a head for politic and business and was truly ahead of her time. All this she did for her children.

The book was broken into small well thought out and researched chapters the language and writing style suited me as a reader. And the picture that Caroline Murphy created of this woman was fantastic. It was ne of those books that I struggled to put down.

Highly recommended a great read, please miss can we have some more?

The Popes Daughter is by Caroline P Murphy ISBN 0-571-22108-4 published by Faber.

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