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The Duke of Gandia   By: (1837-1909)

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The Duke of Gandia by Algernon Charles Swinburne is an enthralling historical novel that transports readers to the captivating world of Renaissance Italy. Set during the late 15th century, the story follows the tumultuous life of Francisco Borja, also known as the Duke of Gandia.

Swinburne masterfully intertwines fiction with fascinating historical events and characters, offering a layered narrative that captivates from the very first page. Through vivid descriptions, the author paints a vivid picture of the opulent courts and grand palaces of Italy, immersing readers in a world filled with exquisite detail.

Central to the novel is the character of Francisco Borja, a complex and multi-faceted individual who embarks on a journey of self-discovery. As the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, Borja is thrust into a life of power, politics, and intrigue. Swinburne delves into the psyche of this protagonist, exploring his inner struggles, ambitions, and conflicts as he navigates the treacherous waters of the Italian Renaissance.

What sets The Duke of Gandia apart is Swinburne's superb writing style. The prose is elegant, poetic, and rich in imagery, creating an immersive reading experience. One can almost taste the sumptuous feasts, hear the clinking of glasses, and smell the aroma of the Renaissance streets.

Another commendable aspect of the novel is the impeccable research that underlies its plot. Swinburne demonstrates a deep understanding of the historical period, accurately capturing the political landscape and societal norms of the time. The author seamlessly weaves the fictional narrative with real-life events and characters, providing readers with a well-rounded and authentic portrayal of Renaissance Italy.

While The Duke of Gandia is undoubtedly a compelling novel, it may not be suitable for readers who are put off by intricate and densely packed prose. Swinburne's writing style, although beautiful, can be demanding, requiring readers to invest time and attention to fully appreciate the story.

In conclusion, The Duke of Gandia is a remarkable historical novel that expertly blends fact and fiction, transporting readers to an era defined by opulence, deceit, and ambition. Swinburne's elegant prose and meticulous research make for a captivating read, though one that requires attentiveness and patience. This book is highly recommended for history enthusiasts and literature lovers alike, providing an unparalleled glimpse into the fascinating world of Renaissance Italy.

First Page:



POPE ALEXANDER VI. FRANCESCO BORGIA, Duke of Gandia }his sons CAESAR BORGIA, Cardinal of Valencia } DON MICHELE COREGLIA, called MICHELOTTO, agent for Caesar Borgia. GIORGIO SCHIAVONE, a Tiber waterman.

TWO ASSASSINS. AN OFFICER of the Papal Household.

VANNOZZA CATANEI, surnamed LA ROSA, concubine to the Pope. LUCREZIA BORGIA, daughter to Alexander and Vannozza.



The Vatican Enter CAESAR and VANNOZZA


Now, mother, though thou love my brother more, Am I not more thy son than he?


Not more.


Have I more Spaniard in me less of thee? Did our Most Holiest father thrill thy womb With more Italian passion than brought forth Me?


Child, thine elder never was as thou Spake never thus.


I doubt it not. But I, Mother, am not mine elder. He desires And he enjoys the life God gives him God, The Pope our father, and thy sacred self, Mother beloved and hallowed. I desire More.


Thou wast ever sleepless as the wind A child anhungered for thy time to be Man. See thy purple about thee. Art thou not Cardinal?


Ay; my father's eminence Set so the stamp on mine... Continue reading book >>

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