The saga of the Borgias and the lives of Leonardo da Vinci and the young Machiavelli form the accurate historical background of this murder mystery, set in the opulence of Renaissance Rome and Milan. Machiavelli’s illegitimate daughter and his bewitching ex-mistress will solve three murders with help from da Vinci and Lucrezia Borgia–including the murder of Lucrezia’s real-life half sister.
Hooray! The Showtime Borgia miniseries actually features some real history in third season Episode 6, giving me something to blog about!
Did Lucrezia poison the king of Naples, though? Continue reading
Since the Showtime Borgia series began I have been pointing out what is fact and what is fiction. (I know the difference because I worked hard to keep the history accurate in my .99 historical mystery, A Borgia Daughter Dies.) The series has strayed further and further from the historical record, and become stranger and stranger in the process.
Season 3 so far is completely fictional, though Continue reading
To include a fun biography of Leonardo da Vinci, my principal detective, I extensively researched his sexuality for my 99 cent e-book, A Borgia Daughter Dies.
Bottom line: he was either bisexual or heterosexual. For a quick, fun read about the period and da Vinci’s life, you can get A Borgia Daughter Dies here: Purchase at Amazon (.99) . The controversy over his sexuality is so fascinating that it forms the historical backdrop for my next book, tentatively titled Da Vinci Detects, available through Amazon and maryannphilip.com sometime this summer.
A quick summary of the controversy: the historians who say da Vinci was gay universally accuse him of pedophilia of the worst sort: the only male pointed to as his sexual partner was eleven years old when he became da Vinci’s apprentice. (Da Vinci was 38.) Continue reading
History reverberates with rumors that the Borgias–father, son Cesare and daughter Lucrezia–committed incest. Showtime could have taken the high road and avoided the rumors all together, since they are unlikely to be true. (See http://maryannphilip.com/cesare-borgia-pope-alexander-vi-lucrezia-borgia-involved-incest/).
But judging from the preview to the third season, it appears Showtime is taking the lowest of low roads: pretend there was incest, and blame it on Lucrezia. This is blaming the victim in the story. Continue reading
The Borgia miniseries has highlighted some of the technological advances of the Renaissance, to its credit. The writers haven’t always gotten the details right, but they are good at showing the essence. Continue reading