READ æ Madonna of the Seven Hills

Madonna of the Seven Hills

REVIEW Madonna of the Seven Hills

The most beautiful woman in Rome Lucrezia Borgia was born into a family and a destiny she could not hope to escape Fifteenth century Rome The Borgia family is on the rise Lucrezia’s father Pope Alexander VI places his illegitimate daughter and her only brothers Cesare Giovanni and Goffredo in the jeweled splendor and scandal of his court From the Pope’s aff This is the first Jean Plaidy book I've ever read that did not concern itself with a ueen of England I was expecting the reading of it to be a stranger experienceBut Jean Plaidy is always Jean Plaidy writing as if she's telling a fairy tale but not sparing us any of the unsavory or unpleasant details So of course she had to take on the infamous Lucrezia BorgiaI've noticed a tendency in Plaidy to build the tale around the most popular anecdote about her subject known at the time whether it's truth or folklore Thus for instance The Follies of the King is one long argumentjustification for the infamous and possibly fanciful murder at the behest of his long suffering wife of Edward III by means of a red hot poker And thus this first of two books Plaidy wrote about Lucrezia and the rest of the Borgia family is just a giant bit of foreshadowing for the legendary fratricide of Lucrezia's brother JuanGiovanni by her other brother CesareThus even as it tells the story of Lucrezia's father's elevation from Cardinal Roderigo Borgia to Pope Alexander III despite being the father of three and possibly four illegitimate children by a courtesan which is a tale uite worthy of a novel in its own right Madonna of the Seven Hills focuses on perhaps the most famous case of sibling rivalry gone wild since Cain and Abel except this time instead of God's favor the brothers are dueling for that of their own sister and fatherSome later writers Madonna of the Seven Hills was first published in 1958 might have gone all out for the scandalous salacious incest plot but Plaidy as always was interested in who Lucrezia really was and why she would accept and even embrace a situation that most modern women would find intolerable From the first pages we see Lucrezia as a girl born to a bizarre station in life tartly observing at one point to her friend Giulia Farnese who has also by that point taken over Lucrezia's mother's job as the pope's mistress that accepting bribes and telling her father all about them is her job but who never knew anything else; the only daughter of a family of vain proud selfish and violently passionate pseudo aristocrats who can't afford not to stick together however much they have gotten sick of each otherSo of course Plaidy's Lucrezia grows up to be a pathological people pleaser She is rich and powerful and beautiful and educated but despite these advantages her self worth is bound up only in how her father and brothers react to her; if they are adoring her they are not fighting each other or killing people or starting wars or seduce raping innocent girls or boys so it's very important that they keep on adoring her even if it means keeping them trapped as rivals for her attention and affection Whether or not she had a sexual relationship with any of them is uite beside the point for Plaidy; if she did it was just another symptom Plaidy is interested in how the rumors got started than if they were trueAs I said though all of this is just foreshadowing for the culmination of the big and legendary hatred between Cesare and Giovanni the two brothers who have only ever been friends when they were teaming up against an outsider whom they perceived as a threat to the family usually a husband or lover or would be lover of Lucrezia's It's a tricky thing Plaidy has done here making us sympathize for their prize even as our author so obviously taps her foot impatiently waiting for the Big Showdown Lucrezia gets humanized only to be turned into

REVIEW ´ THARROWEBDESIGN.CO.UK Ô Jean Plaidy

Airs with adolescent girls to Cesare’s dangerous jealousy of anyone who inspires Lucrezia’s affections to the ominous birth of a child conceived in secret no Borgia can elude infamyYoung Lucrezia gradually accepts her fate as she comes to terms with the delicate nature of her relationships with her father and brothers The unbreakable bond she shares with th Because of the TV Series on the Borgias I reread this and Light on Lucrezia Alsdo by Jean Plaidy I believe anyone watching this series woud gain a lot by reading a Plaidy first She lived from 1 Sept 1906 until 18 January 1993 Her real name was Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert She wrote under many names 8 15 Over 31 novels were written as Victoria Holt and sold over 51 million copies and were gothic romances She aso wote fiction as Philippa Carr that were set in historical times though the characters were imaginary Her 30 romantic tales mystery novels written under Eleanor Burford are hard to find She spent 15 years in the 50s and 60s writting well researched historical novels numbering about 90 There are the Plantagenet Series the Tudor Series etc and far surpass any college history class I ever took presenting accurate accounts of history in a credible manner I researched a few and found little poetic license Then came Victoria Holt her most successful alias selling ovf 75 million copies un 20 languages Her last pseudonym was as Phillppa Carr and the novels took place just before WWII and are narrated by a 'woman of the time centered around auithentic historical episodes I have never read a Plaidy under a 5 due to her ability to make history come aive through her characters Her other books are enjoyable and range from a 3 to a 5 Unfortunatelyi I do not own all the Plaidys but am working on it

Jean Plaidy Ô 1 READ

Em both exhilarates and terrifies her as her innocence begins to fade Soon she will understand that her family’s love pales next to their uest for power and that she herself is the greatest tool in their political arsenal From the inimitable pen of Jean Plaidy this family’s epic legend is replete with passion intrigue and murder and it’s only the beginni I got this and the seuel as a bargain ebook but I'm not that thrilled with the writing or the story There is something flat and one dimensional about the characters Also knowing the basic history takes the element of surprise out of the plot This might have been a classic of its time but it feels dated to me I will give Plaidy credit for being one of the first people to show Lucrezia Borgia as of a victim of her warped family than the vicious poisoner of her mythic persona She did her homework


10 thoughts on “Madonna of the Seven Hills

  1. says:

    This is the first Jean Plaidy book I've ever read that did not concern itself with a ueen of England I was expecting the reading of it to be a stranger experienceBut Jean Plaidy is always Jean Plaidy writing as if she's telling a fairy tale but not sparing us any of the unsavory or unpleasant details So of course she had to take on the infamous Lucrezia BorgiaI've noticed a tendency in Plaidy to build the tale around the most popular anecdote about her subject known at the time whether it's truth or folklore Thus for instance The Follies of the King is one long argumentjustification for the infamous and possibly fanciful murder at the behest of his long suffering wife of Edward III by means of a red hot poker And thus this first of two books Plaidy wrote about Lucrezia and the rest of the Borgia family is just a giant bit of foreshadowing for the legendary fratricide of Lucrezia's brother JuanGiovanni by her other brother CesareThus even as it tells the story of Lucrezia's father's elevation from Cardinal Roderigo Borgia to Pope Alexander III despite being the father of three and possibly four illegitimate children by a courtesan which is a tale uite worthy of a novel in its own right Madonna of the Seven Hills focuses on perhaps the most famous case of sibling rivalry gone wild since Cain and Abel except this time instead of God's favor the brothers are dueling for that of their own sister and fatherSome later writers Madonna of the Seven Hills was first published in 1958 might have gone all out for the scandalous salacious incest plot but Plaidy as always was interested in who Lucrezia really was and why she would accept and even embrace a situation that most modern women would find intolerable From the first pages we see Lucrezia as a girl born to a bizarre station in life tartly observing at one point to her friend Giulia Farnese who has also by that point taken over Lucrezia's mother's job as the pope's mistress that accepting bribes and telling her father all about them is her job but who never knew anything else; the only daughter of a family of vain proud selfish and violently passionate pseudo aristocrats who can't afford not to stick together however much they have gotten sick of each otherSo of course Plaidy's Lucrezia grows up to be a pathological people pleaser She is rich and powerful and beautiful and educated but despite these advantages her self worth is bound up only in how her father and brothers react to her; if they are adoring her they are not fighting each other or killing people or starting wars or seduce raping innocent girls or boys so it's very important that they keep on adoring her even if it means keeping them trapped as rivals for her attention and affection Whether or not she had a sexual relationship with any of them is uite beside the point for Plaidy; if she did it was just another symptom Plaidy is interested in how the rumors got started than if they were trueAs I said though all of this is just foreshadowing for the culmination of the big and legendary hatred between Cesare and Giovanni the two brothers who have only ever been friends when they were teaming up against an outsider whom they perceived as a threat to the family usually a husband or lover or would be lover of Lucrezia's It's a tricky thing Plaidy has done here making us sympathize for their prize even as our author so obviously taps her foot impatiently waiting for the Big Showdown Lucrezia gets humanized only to be turned into a thing a prize anywayWhich is to say that in Madonna of the Seven Hills Plaidy may have achieved her greatest degree of verisimilitude of art imitating life almost painfully perfectly of allBut that's not uite what we turn to historical fictionromance for is it?Alexander VI was an infamously indulgent and doting father but even so imposed his will on his children somewhat mercilessly Giovanni his favorite he chose to be the soldier and the secular nobleman blind to the fact that Giovanni was about as much a soldier as as well as Cesare was a clergyman And famously Cesare was the one who got trained up in the priesthood and made a Cardinal by age 18 Of course had this not happened Niccolo Macchiavelli wouldn't have had his model for The Prince because Cesare wouldn't have had to become the consummate schemer he was etcAnd possibly the historical Lucrezia tooPeculiarly the actual murder is dealt with offstage which feels like a bit of a cheat after all of the build up but again is the sort of anti climactic truth writers like Plaidy most like to highlight even at the expense of causing the last third or so of the novel to fall flat


  2. says:

    As a schoolgirl I devoured Jean Plaidy’s novels Her tales of intrigue and passion in high places were heady stuff for a girl attending a convent school I longed to be one of Charles II’s mistresses or live in Renaissance Italy The books that remained with me most were her Lucrezia Borgia series To a sheltered Catholic teenager the ambitions and amorality of the Borgia pope and his family were shocking and titillating Recently I thought I might revisit Jean Plaidy and found second hand copies of Madonna of the Seven Hills and Light on Lucrezia on the internet My strongest memories came from the first volume Madonna of the Seven Hills Even after thirty years I could still recall images of Cesare Borgia murdering his brother from sheer jealousy of his father Roderigo Borgia smoothly transferring his affections from his favourite son to the son he knew had killed him of Lucrezia Borgia heavily pregnant from a passionate affair held within convent walls standing before a panel of cardinals declaring herself virgo intacta in order to obtain a divorce from an inconvenient husband Plaidy’s version of Lucrezia Borgia was also a lesson in historiography In portraying a woman whose name had come down in infamy as the innocent pawn of her father and brother Plaidy taught me that history is not a set of fixed truths but a narrative that can be turned and manipulated to the teller’s purposes Yet for all that on taking up the book again in my maturity I was sorely disappointed and wondered how I could once have read it so avidly I can only imagine that it was not for the style but for the content for those glimpses of sex and passion that appealed so viscerally to an adolescent becoming aware of her own desires But yet how innocent an age it was for they are only glimpses a few passionate words a post coital smile coy references How different to the blow by blow descriptions we expect today I struggled to read this book spurred on by my determination to write this review and I must guiltily admit to relive those old memories The only way I could keep at it was by taking it to work with me where I would read anything as a diversion on a long and boring tram ride Plaidy’s style transgresses the one important precept of novel writing She tells rather than shows The novel is mainly exposition interspersed with occasional uninspiring dialogue We are told everything about the characters’ internal workings yet they still remain fundamentally unconvincing Her character development moves from point A almost as far as point B Cesare is angry and violent in the nursery only to get angry and violent as a man Lucrezia’s thoughts are actually sophisticated in the nursery than in her treacherous adult world Roderigo’s subtlety is celebrated yet we must believe that he can turn a blind eye to whatever does not please him The novel’s flaws are evident from the first few pages where we are introduced to Lucrezia’s parents and follow their separate musings on their lives These long passages float from one subject to another touch back on the first subject go elsewhere and then return Joycean perhaps but not what the novelist was aiming for In fact it read as a first draft in need of tidying up and furnished the key to the underlying problem of the novel Given the author’s output over 200 historical novels under several pseudonyms and the amount of research that must have gone into each novel it is not surprising that they had to be written uickly with little time for second thoughts However reservations aside although I might have outgrown her I have Jean Plaidy to thank for firing my interest in history and for introducing me to a world beyond the convent walls


  3. says:

    This is a story of the Borgia family taking place in Italy during the fifteenth century I read this story because of my interest in the Borgias after the episode on TV The novel focuses on the lives of the father who became Pope Alexander VI and his four illegitimate children Most of the story centers around his daughter Lucrezia It is a story of power luxury murder and heartbreakJean Plaidy has written over 100 historical fiction books under several names many as Jean Holt There are the Tudors Saga 11 Stuarts 7 ueens of England 11 and many Madonna of the Seven Hills was first published in 1965 and was republished this year in a two volume book entitled The Borgias It also includes Book 2 of the Borgias entitled Light on Lucrezia which I look forward to reading I will definitely be looking for of this author's work hoping will be republished in the future Her style is light and easy to read combining a pleasing combination of fact and fiction


  4. says:

    Raised surrounded by riches in an atmosphere ripe with scandal Lucrezia Borgia daughter of Pope Alexander VI is both the apple of her father's eye and an important pawn in furthering his ambitions In the midst of power struggles bribery and assassinations as well as her older brothers' intense rivalry her innocence cannot last for very longThe Borgias are a source of endless fascination for many myself obviously among them Jean Plaidy can generally be relied upon for deft characterisations and well paced plotting that takes historical facts into account and pays little heed to unfounded rumours While not my favourite among her works that I've read so far this first part of her Lucrezia duology following her protagonist from birth until her second wedding day was a solid enjoyable effort


  5. says:

    I really really wanted to like this book I really did After seeing the show about their family I wanted to immerse myself in a juicy book about it especially about Lucrezia and I believe that's the reason I even reached the end of this book in the first placeI was starved for a story about them and as any starved person at first I devoured what was in front of me without giving it much thought but then when I slowly became full I realized how dull it was I kept on waiting for Lucrezia to wake up for the dynamics to change and become intricate and interesting but it was to no avail Oh how I love my brothers my family Oh how I miss them Oh I can't be happy if I'm not near them They scare me a little bit they do but oh how I need them and love them That's the whole book That and Cesare insinuating to Lucrezia how they could be than siblings but then I didn't believe him to be as obsessed with her as Plaidy wants us to believe He seems to remember his said obsession only when he's bored or when it most suits himAnd really let's be frank a whole book where the protagonist it's always acting like an over dramatic pure soul? Especially when she has a family like that? I just can't believe it It's unreal and far fetched In my opinion if we take in consideration the family she grew up in there's no way Lucrezia was so innocent no way And at first the writer it's actually one of the first things we read says that to understand them we have to take in consideration the times they lived in And I get that I really do but she kept trying to make Lucrezia into an innocent and good young girl and it felt out of placeFor me it lacked substance; with so many scandals they had you would think a writer would make a feast out of them but no we get stuck with how much Lucrezia loves his family and how much she yearns for passion For God's sake It was insufferableIf you want to read about a badass Lucrezia then don't even look at this book And if you want to read about the Borgias and their lives then don't either The book goes over their matters and problems in such a brief manner that you keep wondering if you read them at all


  6. says:

    Because of the TV Series on the Borgias I reread this and Light on Lucrezia Alsdo by Jean Plaidy I believe anyone watching this series woud gain a lot by reading a Plaidy first She lived from 1 Sept 1906 until 18 January 1993 Her real name was Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert She wrote under many names 8 15 Over 31 novels were written as Victoria Holt and sold over 51 million copies and were gothic romances She aso wote fiction as Philippa Carr that were set in historical times though the characters were imaginary Her 30 romantic tales mystery novels written under Eleanor Burford are hard to find She spent 15 years in the 50s and 60s writting well researched historical novels numbering about 90 There are the Plantagenet Series the Tudor Series etc and far surpass any college history class I ever took presenting accurate accounts of history in a credible manner I researched a few and found little poetic license Then came Victoria Holt her most successful alias selling ovf 75 million copies un 20 languages Her last pseudonym was as Phillppa Carr and the novels took place just before WWII and are narrated by a 'woman of the time centered around auithentic historical episodes I have never read a Plaidy under a 5 due to her ability to make history come aive through her characters Her other books are enjoyable and range from a 3 to a 5 Unfortunatelyi I do not own all the Plaidys but am working on it


  7. says:

    Once again Plaidy's character assessment is what makes this book Her characterization of all the characters but particular Cesare and his relationship with Lucrezia worked so well to bring them alive and allow us to understand them Plaidy's forward note which states Only by judging the Borgias against their own times can they arouse our sympathy and only if they arouse our sympathy can they be understood is incredibly accurate not just of this novel and the Borgias but of history in general And Plaidy certainly succeeds in accomplishing this If you want a novel that will make sense of the shocking lives of the Borgia's this is it I'm already diving into it's seuel Light on Lucrezia


  8. says:

    My first Plaidy and I am hooked I will say it did take me longer than expected to really get into the book But once I did I didn't want to put it down I am waiting for the 2nd book is this series to arrive in the mail The Borgia family is very interesting I read The Borgia Bride a few months ago and wanted to read I enjoyed this version of the Borgias maybe than Kalogridis' perhaps because it doesn't seem as exaggerated It is a uick read which was a nice change of pace for me since lastely it seems as if I have only been reading books that are 500 pages long


  9. says:

    I got this and the seuel as a bargain ebook but I'm not that thrilled with the writing or the story There is something flat and one dimensional about the characters Also knowing the basic history takes the element of surprise out of the plot This might have been a classic of its time but it feels dated to me I will give Plaidy credit for being one of the first people to show Lucrezia Borgia as of a victim of her warped family than the vicious poisoner of her mythic persona She did her homework


  10. says:

    Totally addictive thus far Purchased for my Kindle but I think this one is certainly a keeper so I'll be ordering the actual book Looking forward to the HBOShowtime series nowChanged this to FIVE stars and I downloaded the next installment immediately to my Kindle