iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 1

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

More episodes

See all episodes from Book at Bedtime

Episode 1

15 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 27 May 2013

Acclaimed novelist of the Italian Renaissance Sarah Dunant takes on the era's most infamous family - the Borgias.

The story of the Borgia Pope is not long - Roderigo Borgia, Alexander VI, was the Head of the Church for barely a decade - but an enormous amount of activity, social, political and sexual was crammed into that period.

Our abridgement begins in August 1492 when Roderigo Borgia wins his campaign to become Pope, and describes the repercussions for his children, Cesare, Juan, Lucrezia and Jofre. Juan, the only legitimate son, will be allied in marriage to Spain, while Cesare is promised to the church - thus ensuring their legacy within the Vatican. As for Lucrezia, she is part of the price Borgia paid for his Papacy - though only 12, she must wed to shore up an uneasy alliance with the powerful Milanese Sforza family.

Read by Robert Glenister
Written by Sarah Dunant
Abridged by Eileen Horne

Produced by Clive Brill
A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.


Clive Brill
Robert Glenister
Eileen Horne
Sarah Dunant


Books & Authors Clip Collection


Interviews, previews and reviews

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss