In an epic drama of love, death and betrayal, Leonie Frieda charts the rise and fall of the Italian Renaissance through the lives of the women who helped shape it.
Mothers of popes and wives of princes, the women who feature in this book are joined by birth, marriage or friendship, and all ruled for a time in place of their menfolk. An intricate network of blood ties bound them inextricably together even as ambition, passion and treachery set sister against sister. These were women who were not afraid to wield the sword against their enemies in the murderous struggles that dominated the peninsula. Each experienced great riches, power, and the warm smile of fortune, but they also knew banishment, poverty, attempts on their life and the loss of a husband or child.
From sleeping with the enemy to defying the emperor, THE DEADLY SISTERHOOD explodes the myth that Renaissance women were passive bystanders. Far from being confined to patronage and piety, these women proved that as generals, diplomats, warriors and lovers they equalled, if not overshadowed, the men whose power they shared.