Set in Renaissance Italy, this classic of American popular fiction is the story of Andrea Orsini, a peasant boy who rises to perform delicate political, military, and romantic missions for Cesare Borgia.
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A novel as colorful as the era itself. Fiction yes, but convincing fiction, based on sound scholarship and inspired research. (San Francisco Chronicle)
A superior performance...It is long and exciting and romatic and filled with precusely accurate historical detail...A rich abundance of hairbredth escapes, last-minute resces, splendid feats of arms and masterly intrigues. But the age was crammed with just such matters and thes do not strain credulity more than the conventions of historical romance allow...Good popular story-telling and a lively pageant of life in the Italy of the Borgia. (The New York Times)
A magnificent job from beginning to end―a completely absorbing book. (Boston Herald)
There are many reasons for reading Prince of Foxes―not least, as some reviewers like to say, that it's just about impossible to put it down once you start it―but I would like to put it forward as a textbook example of what American were reading during the golden age of American popular fiction. This period lasted for about three decades, from the early 1930's to the late 1950's, during which much of the commercial fiction that millions of American read for pleasure―ficstion that made the best-seller lists―was work of considerable literary skill and stylistic distinctiveness. That stands in sharp contrast to the popular fiction Americans now read...None wrote better than Shellabarger...Shellabarger was an educator by training and inclination, and he wanted readers to learn from his novels as wella s be entertained by them. To say that you will learn a lot about Renaissance Italy from Princes of Foxes is an understatement. (Jonathan Yardely, Pulitzer Prize winning book critic and columnist for the Washington Post and author of six books.)
If you like historical novels (personally, I do) it is certainly required reading. (Saturday Review Of Literature)
With equal skill he touches on the complex nature of that fierce and flowering age, manipulates love as well as battle, agitates one, amid a ceaseless whirl of pomp, murder, sex , intrigue, romance, war, high adventure, into a near swoon os suspense. Dr. Shellabarger displays his great learning with exceptional skill. The sets are opulent, but so adroitly organized that one is not so much impressed by the erudition they manifest as hypnotized by their glowing vitality...A faithful and fascinating resurrection of the spirit and look of a furiously exciting, cruel and splendid age. (The New York Times)
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