Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Borgias


Almost any history of Italy, Rome, the papacy, or the Renaissance contains some information about the Borgias. Often the treatments are brief, but such works provide a point of departure for those who would like to know more about this interesting family.

Relatively few of the many works on the Borgias written in Italian or Spanish have been translated, and works in English devoted exclusively to the Borgias are few. I have included in this bibliography only those that I examined in preparing this article. Most are in print, a few are in public libraries, and a few others were obtained in second-hand bookstores. Some of those that I indicate as being out-of-print may have been reprinted in recent years, but, if so, I have been unable to locate them.

The Crime Library particularly recommends the recent books of Cloulas and Mallett as thorough resources, and the two out-of-print works by Chamberlain. The novel by Haasse, available in paperback, is an interesting treatment of Giovanni, the infans Romanus, with extended appearances by Cesare, Lucrezia, Vannozza, Machiavelli, and Michelangelo. It is the most historically accurate (within the limits of fiction) of the three novels that I read.


Burchard, Johann. 1993. (edited and translated by Geoffrey
Parker) At the Court of the Borgia. Folio Society.

Chastenet, Genevieve (in Spanish) Lucrecia Borgia.

Cloulas, Ivan. (translated by Gilda Roberts) Borgias.

Hibbert, Christopher. Rome: The Biography of a City.

Holmes, George. Oxford History of Italy.

Mallet, Michael. Borgias: The Rise & Fall of a Renaissance Dynasty.

McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to John Paul II.


Bellonci, Maria. 1953. The Life and Times of Lucrezia Borgia. Harcourt, Brace.

Bradford, Sarah. 1976. Cesare Borgia, His Life and Times. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Chamberlain, E.R. 1969. The Bad Popes. Dorset.

Chamberlain, E.R. 1974. The Fall of the House of Borgia. Dial Press.

Fugero, Clemente. 1972. The Borgias. Praeger.

Latour, Anny. 1966. The Borgias. Abelard-Shuman.


Haasse, Hella (translated by Anita Miller). Scarlet City.

Holland, Celia. 1979. City of God. Knopf.

Maugham, W. Somerset. 1946. Then and Now. Doubleday.

Puzo, M. 2001. The Family. HarperCollins.

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