A bit of a change from the Roman Empire coming up, although still very much in the same area – we’ll be taking a brief trip forward in time to visit the Borgias.
My first brush with them came in the 1980’s, courtesy of the BBC. I was making Christmas decorations at the time and I wouldn’t say the programmes had a malign influence, but never before nor since have our Yuletide decorations consisted of black paper lanterns with red inserts for the ‘light’…
American viewers will have a chance to reassess the Borgias in a day or two, when the very English Jeremy Irons will be portraying the Pope in a new series. Meanwhile my latest encounter with the combination of power, religion, scheming and sex came from Sarah Bower’s excellent second novel ‘Sins of the House of Borgia’ (published here with a spookier cover as ‘The Book of Love’).
Sarah and I began corresponding when we were both hopeful scribblers with a manuscript but no publisher. This seemed like a good time to catch up, so drop by in a few days to see how she’s survived the famous family. I promise there will be no black paper lanterns.