2013 NF Release: The Deadly Sisterhood by Leonie Frieda

The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women and Power in Renaissance Italy
by Leonie Frieda

Publication Date:  April 2, 2013 | Harper Collins | 448p


The book is one of drama on a grand scale, a Renaissance epic, as Christendom emerged from the shadows of the calamitous 14th century. The sweeping tale involves inspired and corrupt monarchs, the finest thinkers, the most brilliant artists, and the greatest beauties in Christendom. 

Here are the stories of its most remarkable women, who are all joined by birth, marriage and friendship and who ruled for a time in place of their men-folk: Lucrezia Turnabuoni (Queen Mother of Florence, the power behind the Medici throne), Clarice Orsini (Roman princess, feudal wife), Beatrice d'Este (Golden Girl of the Renaissance), Caterina Sforza (Lioness of the Romagna), Isabella d'Este (the Acquisitive Marchesa), Giulia Farnese ('la bella', the family asset), Isabella d'Aragona (the Weeping Duchess) and Lucrezia Borgia (the Virtuous Fury). The men play a secondary role in this grand saga; whenever possible the action is seen through the eyes our heroines.

These eight women experienced great riches, power and the warm smile of fortune, but they also knew banishment, poverty, the death of a husband or the loss of one or more of their children. As each of the chosen heroines comes to the fore in her turn, she is handed the baton by her 'sister' and Leonie Frieda recounts the role each woman played in the hundred-year drama that is THE DEADLY SISTERHOOD.


  1. I just started a book on the Borgias. I think they alone would have been enough for everyone!

  2. Love the sound of this! I definitely want to read it when it comes out :)

  3. Oooh -- I don't read a ton of non-fiction but this is the kind of book I'd pick up -- love the cover, the title, and the premise!!

  4. I will definitely will be watching for this one!

  5. This sounds fascinating! What a great list of women to examine this period of history through.


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