Sarah Dunant - Author

About the Author

Sarah Dunant has written eight novels, edited two books of essays and worked widely in television, radio and in print. She has two daughters and lives in London and Florence.

Photograph © Charlie Hopkinson

Featured books by Sarah Dunant

Blood & Beauty

Blood & Beauty

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/04/2014

When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy, he is defined not just by his wealth, charisma and power, but by his blood: a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If he is to succeed, he must use his Machiavellian son and innocent daughter. Stripping away the myths around the Borgias, Blood & Beauty breathes life into the astonishing family of Alexander VI and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex, and relentless.

Other books by Sarah Dunant

In The Name of the Family A Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year Book

In The Name of the Family A Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year Book

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2018

A Times Best Historical Fiction Book of the Year A Cosmopolitan Best Book of the Year A History Today Book of the Year 'Dunant has made completely her own the story of the Italy's most infamous ruling family . . . in a way that we can see, hear and smell' Mark Lawson, Guardian 'A stunning tale of power and family . . . In Dunant's telling of the Borgia story, Lucrezia is not the sluttish power-crazed poisoner of legend . . . her glorious prose makes her version irresistible' Antonia Senior, The Times 'Stuffed with violence, danger and passion' Daily Mail Conjuring up the past in all its complexity, horror and pleasures, In The Name of the Family confirms Sarah Dunant's place as the leading novelist of the Renaissance and one of the most acclaimed historical fiction writers of our age. In the Name of the Family - as Blood and Beauty did before - holds up a mirror to a turbulent moment of history, sweeping aside the myths to bring alive the real Borgia family; complicated, brutal, passionate and glorious. Here is a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia's doomed years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli. It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womaniser and master of political corruption is now on the Papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-two, already thrice married and a pawn in her father's plans, is discovering her own power. And then there is Cesare Borgia: brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with the diplomat Machiavelli which offers a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavelli learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince. But while the pope rails against old age and his son's increasing maverick behavior it is Lucrezia who will become the Borgia survivor: taking on her enemies and creating her own place in history.

In the Name of the Family

In the Name of the Family

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 07/03/2017

**A Times(London)Best Book of the Year**Before the Corleones, before the Lannisters, there were the Borgias. One of historys most notorious families comes to life in this riveting bestseller, as the House of Borgia crosses paths with a young diplomat named Niccol Machiavelli.Full to the brim with vivid historical details both gory and beautiful. Library Journal It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womanizer and master of political corruption, is now on the papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-twoalready three times married and a pawn in her fathers plansis discovering her own power. And then there is his son Cesare Borgia, brilliant, ruthless and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with Machiavelli that gives the Florentine diplomat a master class on the dark arts of power and politics. What he learns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince. But while the pope rails against old age and his sons increasingly maverick behavior, it is Lucrezia who must navigate the treacherous court of Urbino and another challenging marriage to create her own place in history.Bestselling novelist Sarah Dunant employs her remarkable gifts as a storyteller to bring to life the passionate men and women of the Borgia family, as well as the ever-compelling figure of Machiavelli, through whom the reader will experience one of the most fascinatingand doomeddynasties of all time.

In the Name of the Family

In the Name of the Family

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 07/03/2017

Before the Corleones, before the Lannisters, there were the Borgias. One of history's notorious families comes to life in a captivating novel from the author of The Birth of Venus.NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY COSMOPOLITAN (UK) ANDTHE TIMES (UK) ';In the end, what's a historical novelist's obligation to the dead? Accuracy? Empathy? Justice? Or is it only to make them live again? Dunant pays these debts with a passion that makes me want to go straight out and read all her other books.'Diana Gabaldon, The Washington Post Bestselling novelist Sarah Dunant has long been drawn to the high drama of Renaissance Italy: power, passion, beauty, brutality, and the ties of blood. With In the Name of the Family, she offers a thrilling exploration of the House of Borgia's final years, in the company of a young diplomat named Niccol Machiavelli. It is 1502 and Rodrigo Borgia, a self-confessed womanizer and master of political corruption, is now on the papal throne as Alexander VI. His daughter Lucrezia, aged twenty-twoalready three times married and a pawn in her father's plansis discovering her own power. And then there is his son Cesare Borgia, brilliant, ruthless, and increasingly unstable; it is his relationship with Machiavelli that gives the Florentine diplomat a master class in the dark arts of power and politics. What Machiavellilearns will go on to inform his great work of modern politics, The Prince. But while the pope rails against old age and his son's increasingly erratic behavior, it is Lucrezia who must navigate the treacherous court of Urbino, her new home, and another challenging marriage to create her own place in history. Sarah Dunant again employs her remarkable gifts as a storyteller to bring to life the passionate men and women of the Borgia family, as well as the ever-compelling figure of Machiavelli, through whom the reader will experience one of the most fascinatingand doomeddynasties of all time. ';Enthralling . . . combines flawless historical scholarship with beguiling storytelling.'The Guardian';Renaissance-rich details fill out the humanity of the Borgias, rendering them into the kind of relatable figures whom we would hope to discover behind the cold brilliance of The Prince.'NPR ';[Dunant] has an enviable command of this complex political scene, with its shifting alliances and subtle betrayals. . . . [She] has a special gift for attending to her female characters.'The New York Times

In The Name of the Family A Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year Book

In The Name of the Family A Times Best Historical Fiction of the Year Book

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/02/2017

1502 and Renaissance Italy is in turmoil. Backed by the money and wily power of his ageing father Pope Alexander VI, Cesare Borgia is soaring like a military comet, carving out a state for the Borgia dynasty. From Florence, a young diplomat, one Niccolo Machiavelli, is sent to shadow him to keep track of the danger. While many tremble in the presence of this brilliant unscrupulous man, Machiavelli is entranced and the relationship he forges with Cesare allows him - and us - to witness history in the making. Meanwhile, the Pope's beloved daughter Lucrezia is on her way to a third dynastic marriage in the state of Ferrara, where if she is to survive she must fast produce an heir for the rival Este family. Cesare holds his sister dear, but striving always for conquest rather than conciliation, he pays little mind to her precarious position. As the Borgia enemies gather, in Rome, the pope grows older and ever more cantankerous. Drawing us in with her dynamic prose and intimate knowledge of one of the most fascinating periods in Italian history, Sarah Dunant dramatises the rise of one of history's most fascinating characters, Niccolo Machiavelli, during the formative years of his life. In the Name of the Family breathes new life into the daring and corruption of a family that history will never forget. This is a moment from which no one will emerges unscathed.

Birth Marks

Birth Marks

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 07/06/2016

A missing-persons case isn't what it seems in this page-turning thriller from CWA Silver Dagger Awardwinning author Sarah Dunant Tough-talking PI Hannah Wolfe takes whatever cases she can get. This time, it's a missing person: Carolyn Hamilton, a twenty-three-year-old ballet dancer, has seemingly vanished into thin air. But while Hannah chases down dead-end leads, the dancer's body is fished out of the Thames. She was eight months pregnant. The police claim she committed suicide, but Hannah doesn't buy the official verdict. The private eye refuses to believe that Carolyn would kill herself and her unborn child, but she's convinced that her death is somehow connected to the pregnancy. Hannah's quest to find the baby's father takes her to France, where an unusual ad Carolyn answered leads to an old, moneyed family keeping monstrous secrets. And not even Hannah can guess at a deception that stretches back decades. Forced to confront her own ambivalent feelings about commitment and motherhood, Hannah won't rest until she gets justice for Carolyneven if it means risking her own life. This thinking person's thriller from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah Dunant introduces a female sleuthreminiscent of P. D. James's Cordelia Gray, Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhonewho readers are bound never to forget. Birth Marks is the 1st book in the Hannah Wolfe Crime Novels, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

Fatlands

Fatlands

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 07/06/2016

A PI signs on as bodyguard to a spoiled teenagerbut the simple job explodes in murder in this crime novel from a CWA Silver Dagger Awardwinning author Chaperoning a rebellious teenager around London isn't how private eye Hannah Wolfe planned to spend the weekend. But a job's a job, especially when it comes from her mentor, ex-cop Frank Comfort. Mattie Shepherd is supposed to celebrate her fourteenth birthday with an extravagant shopping spree followed by an evening at the theater. When work calls her scientist father away, Hannah gets the job as stand-in parent. But things go from bad to tragic when violence intervenes. Mattie's father, Tom, heads up chemical giant Vandamed's independent cancer research departmentthe biggest in the country. Vandamed is also on the Animal Liberation Front's hit list for using animals in its experimental labs. Death threats are par for the course. Until a fatal car bomb explosion adds premeditated murder to the mix. Now Hannah's on a hunt for a killer, and her search will expose a massive corporate cover-up and rampant greed. Avenging an innocent death could cost her everythingincluding her lover, Nick. A must-read for fans of Raymond Chandler, Sue Grafton, and P. D. James, Fatlands will keep you guessing right to its dramatic end. Fatlands is the 2nd book in the Hannah Wolfe Crime Novels, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

Under My Skin

Under My Skin

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 07/06/2016

A private eye infiltrates a health spa in this witty crime novel from the CWA Silver Dagger Awardwinning author of The Birth of Venus Dead carp floating in the Jacuzzi isn't the latest youth and beauty elixir for the elite patrons of Castle Dean spa, and owner Olivia Marchant is desperate to find the culprit before she loses all her clients. London PI Hannah Wolfe is plucked, crimped, steamed, and oiled while trying to uncover a spiteful saboteur who isn't above putting maggots in the yogurt and nails in the massage heads. Olivia also wants the sleuth to look into a series of threatening notes someone has been sending her husband, Maurice. Celebrity plastic surgeon Maurice Marchant has left some very disgruntled former patients in his wake. Women who have gone under his knife are now coping with less-than-perfect liposuction, drooping faces, and breast enlargements that went south. And when the case morphs into murder, Hannah confronts an embarrassment of suspects with means, motive, and opportunity. Tracking a killer while running surveillance on her sister's potentially philandering husband takes Hannah out of her comfort zone and into a rarefied world where appearances aren't just deceivingthey're deadly. The quest for beauty is taken to diabolical lengths in this smart thriller from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah Dunanta must-read for fans of Kinsey Millhone and Philip Marlowe. Under My Skin is the 3rd book in the Hannah Wolfe Crime Novels, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

Blood & Beauty

Blood & Beauty

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/04/2014

When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy, he is defined not just by his wealth, charisma and power, but by his blood: a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If he is to succeed, he must use his Machiavellian son and innocent daughter. Stripping away the myths around the Borgias, Blood & Beauty breathes life into the astonishing family of Alexander VI and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex, and relentless.

Blood & Beauty

Blood & Beauty

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 16/07/2013

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY KIRKUS REVIEWSThe New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Italian Renaissance novels—The Birth of Venus, In the Company of the Courtesan, and Sacred Hearts—has an exceptional talent for breathing life into history. Now Sarah Dunant turns her discerning eye to one of the world's most intriguing and infamous families—the Borgias—in an engrossing work of literary fiction.   By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and inside the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: He is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women, and power must use papacy and family—in particular, his eldest son, Cesare, and his daughter Lucrezia—in order to succeed.   Cesare, with a dazzlingly cold intelligence and an even colder soul, is his greatest—though increasingly unstable—weapon. Later immortalized in Machiavelli's The Prince, he provides the energy and the muscle. Lucrezia, beloved by both men, is the prime dynastic tool. Twelve years old when the novel opens, hers is a journey through three marriages, and from childish innocence to painful experience, from pawn to political player.   Stripping away the myths around the Borgias, Blood & Beauty is a majestic novel that breathes life into this astonishing family and celebrates the raw power of history itself: compelling, complex and relentless.Praise for Blood & Beauty ';The Machiavellian atmosphere—hedonism, lust, political intrigue—is magnetic. . . . Readers won't want the era of Borgia rule to end.'—People (four stars)  ';Dunant transforms the blackhearted Borgias and the conniving courtiers and cardinals of Renaissance Europe into fully rounded characters, brimming with life and lust.' —The New York Times Book Review   ';Like Hilary Mantel with her Cromwell trilogy, [Sarah] Dunant has scaled new heights by refashioning mythic figures according to contemporary literary taste. This intellectually satisfying historical saga, which offers blood and beauty certainly, but brains too, is surely the best thing she has done to date.' —The Miami Herald   ';Compelling female players have been a characteristic of Dunant's earlier novels, and this new offering is no exception. . . . The members of this close-knit family emerge as dynamic characters, flawed but sympathetic, filled with fear and longing.' —The Seattle Times   ';Dazzling . . . a triumph on an epic scale . . . filled with rich detail and page-turning drama.' —BookPageFrom the Hardcover edition.

The Birth Of Venus

The Birth Of Venus

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2013

Alessandra is not quite fifteen when her prosperous merchant father brings a young painter back with him from Holland to adorn the walls of the new family chapel. She is fascinated by his talents and envious of his abilities and opportunities to paint to the glory of God. Soon her love of art and her lively independence are luring her into closer involvement with all sorts of taboo areas of life. On excursions into the streets of night-time Florence she observes a terrible evil stalking the city and witnesses the rise of the fiery young priest, Savanarola, who has set out to rid the city of vice, richness, even art itself. Alessandra must make crucial decisions about the shape of her adult life, as Florence itself must choose between the old ways of the luxury-loving Medicis and the asceticism of Savanorola. And through it all, there is the painter, whose love will change everything.

Sacred Hearts

Sacred Hearts

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 14/07/2009

The year is 1570, and in the convent of Santa Caterina, in the Italian city of Ferrara, noblewomen find space to pursue their lives under Gods protection. But any community, however smoothly run, suffers tremors when it takes in someone by force.The sixteen-year-old daughter of a noble family from Milan, Serafina is willful, emotional, sharp, and defiantyoung enough to have a life to look forward to and old enough to know when that life is being cut short. Her first night inside the walls is spent in an incandescent rage so violent that the dispensary mistress, Suora Zuana, is dispatched to the girls cell to sedate her. As Serafina rails against her incarceration, others are drawn into the drama: the ancient, mysterious Suora Magdalena; the ferociously devout novice mistress Suora Umiliana, and, watching it all, the abbess, Madonna Chiara, a woman as fluent in politics as she is in prayer. As disorder and rebellion mount, it is the abbesss job to keep the convent stable while, outside its walls, the dictates of the Counter-Reformation begin to purge the Catholic Church and impose on the nunneries a regime of oppression.From the Compact Disc edition.

Birth of Venus

Birth of Venus

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 18/12/2007

Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the familys Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painters abilities.But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandras parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarolas reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandras married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art.The Birth of Venus is a tour de force, the first historical novel from one of Britains most innovative writers of literary suspense. It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city.

In the Company of the Courtesan

In the Company of the Courtesan

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: eBook Release Date: 24/10/2006

My lady, Fiammetta Bianchini, was plucking her eyebrows and biting color into her lips when the unthinkable happened and the Holy Roman Emperors army blew a hole in the wall of Gods eternal city, letting in a flood of half-starved, half-crazed troops bent on pillage and punishment.Thus begins In the Company of the Courtesan, Sarah Dunants epic novel of life in Renaissance Italy. Escaping the sack of Rome in 1527, with their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed, the courtesan Fiammetta and her dwarf companion, Bucino, head for Venice, the shimmering city born out of water to become a miracle of east-west trade: rich and rancid, pious and profitable, beautiful and squalid. With a mix of courage and cunning they infiltrate Venetian society. Together they make the perfect partnership: the sharp-tongued, sharp-witted dwarf, and his vibrant mistress, trained from birth to charm, entertain, and satisfy men who have the money to support her. Yet as their fortunes rise, this perfect partnership comes under threat, from the searing passion of a lover who wants more than his allotted nights to the attentions of an admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his sultans court. But Fiammetta and Bucinos greatest challenge comes from a young crippled woman, a blind healer who insinuates herself into their lives and hearts with devastating consequences for them all.A story of desire and deception, sin and religion, loyalty and friendship, In the Company of the Courtesan paints a portrait of one of the worlds greatest cities at its most potent moment in history: It is a picture that remains vivid long after the final page.From the Hardcover edition.

Snow Storms In A Hot Climate

Snow Storms In A Hot Climate

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2005

Is Elly's love affair with a New York cocaine dealer too deep and dark to be broken - even by an old friend? When Marla responds to Elly's call from America she finds herself ensnared in the twilight world of drug smuggling. Though she thinks she can see through the lies, Marla too begins to get sucked in, equally fascinated and repelled by Lenny, master of the cocaine circuit. In the end, who is she most frightened of - the drug or her 'golden boy' Lenny? Obsession, betrayal and revenge twist into an ever-tightening knot in this tense psychological tale.

Mapping The Edge

Mapping The Edge

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2005

Anna packs her bags one day without telling anyone where and why she is going - just that she'll be back soon. Her thoughts as she boards a plane, are that this journey will give her time to think about her life - as a woman hitting forty, a journalist and a single mother. She has no premonition that she will become a statistic in a missing person file. Left at home is Anna's beloved six-year-old daughter Lily, her gay friend Paul, who is surrogate father to Lily, and her eccentric best friend Estella. When Anna doesn't return, they make uneasy excuses until, as time passes, the mind-numbing possibility that Anna might not be coming back becomes terrifyingly real. And while those closest to her battle with their imaginations, Anna is on a dark journey - in one scenario Anna is on a ravishing, sexual adventure, on the other, much darker voyage, she is the victim of a stranger's dangerous sexual fantasy. In a masterpiece of emotionally intelligent and nerve-wracking suspense, Sarah Dunant takes us to the very edge.

Transgressions

Transgressions

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2005

Terrifying, dark and bold, Sarah Dunant's breakthrough psychological thriller transcends genres and audiences; it crosses all boundaries, encroaching on the darker side of sex and fantasy, male and female. Elizabeth Skorvecky has just come out of a long-term relationship with her boyfriend. Alone in her Victorian house, her only companions are her cat, a trashy crime novel she's translating from Czech, and her music. As the summer ends and the days draw in, unsettling things begin to happen. First it's just a missing CD, then music playing in an empty kitchen at midnight, then a table laid for breakfast for two. Poltergeist? Insanity? When Elizabeth wakes at four in the morning to find a man sitting at the end of her bed, she knows, sickeningly , she's very sane - and being stalked. She also discovers that the means of surviving can be just as shocking as surrender.

Under My Skin

Under My Skin

Author: Sarah Dunant Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2004

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