What I love most about William Landon’s Rise and Fall of the Borgias is his candour. He had set out with the expectation of uncovering irrefutable evidence that the notorious Borgia family were odious human beings who deserved all the darkness their life was filled with. Instead, he discovered that most – almost all, in fact – were baseless rumours spread by their enemies and adversaries.
His is the most balanced view of the Borgias I have ever read. Even Cesare, with countless stories about his cruelty, gets a fair trial and is seen as in a compassionate light. Landon solidified every belief I had about the Borgias and is, by far, the best of the books about this intriguing family.
Be sure to also check out some of the primary sources Landon cites for information, especially Johannes Burchard’s At The Court of The Borgia – an incredible primary source.