Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope

Eleanor Herman, Author William Morrow & Company $25.95 (452p) ISBN 978-0-06-124555-8
In this engrossing ""forgotten story"" of the Vatican, Herman (Sex with the Queen) relays not only the life of 17th Cenutry Papal puppet-master Olimpia Maidalchini, but the political and social history of her age, including glimpses of art and architecture, family relations, medical care, religious traditions and daily life. Born into a family of average means, Maidalchini rebelled successfully against her father's plans to place her in a convent. This early triumph gave her a will that she'd eventually use to grab the ultimate seat of power in 17th century Italy, the Papacy, through the likely accomplice of her indecisive brother-in-law, a lawyer with holy orders who was dazzled by Maidalchini's intelligence, planning and accounting capabilities. He submitted to the her plans, and she eventually ushered him into power as Pope Innocent X. As her wealth and strength grow, so does the resentment around her, but her fate would be sealed by the bubonic plague. Exhaustively researched, with historical vignettes interwoven seamlessly, Herman's latest provides a window into an age of empire, nepotism and intrigue that rivals any novel for fascinating reading.
Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 08/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-06-169869-9
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 496 pages - 978-0-06-169875-0
Paperback - 452 pages - 978-0-06-124556-5
Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-06-169874-3
Paperback - 721 pages - 978-0-06-156270-9
Ebook - 496 pages - 978-0-06-182741-9
Show other formats
Discover what to read next