Gone are the Borgias ... well no! They do not die out on Lucretia's death in 1519 as many believe! Henri Pigaillem, in his second volume "Les Soupers du Vatican", brilliantly tells us the story of the children and grandchildren of César and Lucretia Borgia, who became Duchess of Este and Ferrara. We discover that the Este dynasty will not die out until 1607 ...
The Splendor of the Borgias, Volume 2: The Vatican Suppers
Let's go back a little: Alexander IV disappears, Julius II becomes pope and does everything to never hear from the Borgias. He succeeded in getting Caesar imprisoned in Spain, assisted in this by Maria Enriquez of Gandia, Juan's wife and widow, and deprived him of all his possessions. Caesar escapes, joins his brother-in-law Jean de Navarre and then puts himself at his service as a man of war. But there his life ended, betrayed by mercenaries in the pay of the King of Spain, in 1507. His daughter Louise, in the service of Claude de France, wife of François Ier, would become Duchess of Valentinois ... for a short time, because she is obliged to cede the title to Diane de Poitiers, who has become a favorite of Henri II! Louise died in 1553 after two marriages and the six children given to her husband Philippe de Bourbon-Busset. The direct line of Caesar died out in 1572, with the death of his natural daughter Camilla, who had become a Sister and Abbess of a convent.
The branch of Lucretia will have a little more luck! Among his children, one of his sons married Renée de France, sister of Claude, sister-in-law of François Ier… From this union, a girl Anne d'Este was born in 1531… who would have François de Guise and three good boys as her husband. restless: Henri de Guise, Charles de Lorraine, duke of Mayenne, Louis cardinal de Guise! Like their father, they will shine in the blood ... of the Borgias!
A second volume much more interesting and captivating than the first. The reader will enjoy walking around France, Italy and Spain. He will immerse himself in the Reformation, will also better understand the origin and the beginning of the Wars of Religion ... discovering finally (but only halfway through the book) the meaning of the title "The Vatican Suppers". He will rub shoulders with the great figures of the League, as well as King Henry III, Catherine de Medici ...
There may be a little more murders, a little more blood, more conspiracies, but the author has such a way of describing all these rather disgusting and generally off-putting things to us that it sounds great! The reader could get lost in all these families, related to each other, but here again Henri Pigaillem explains it to us so well that everything is easy to understand.
La splendeur des Borgia, Tome: Les suppers du vatican, by Henri Pigaillem. Editions Telemaque, October 2011.