Category Archives: The Borgia family

Did Lucrezia Borgia poison the king of Naples and other musings

Louis XII of France

Louis XII of France

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

The Borgias Season 3 – All Fiction So Far

Cover-A Borgia Daughter DiesSince 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

Statue of Leonardo da Vinci

Was Leonardo da Vinci a gay pedophile?

Statue of Leonardo da Vinci

Stattue of Leonardo da Vinci outside the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

To include a fun biography of Leonardo da Vinci, my principal detective, I extensively  researched his sexuality for my $2.99 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 ($2.99) .  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

Just Who Is the Father?

Borgia incest: blame Lucrezia?

Just Who Is the Father?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 Borgias and New Technology: Cannons, Muskets, the Printing Press and Incest Rumors

Arquebus from the Borgias' time

Arquebus from around the time of the Borgias

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