The Borgia Pope, Alexander VI. By Arestes Ferrara. (Sliced and Ward, 165.) Reviewed by BERNARD BASSET, S.J.
MESSRS. Sliced and Ward deserve
our sincere thanks for publishing an English version of this remarkable book. While not everyone believed everything that was said against the Borgias, yet few, c4en among scholars, have doubted that Alexander VI was a thoroughly bad man. Von Pastor himself is_explicit in condemnation, Ferrara, in a note, tells us that he used to believe the stories, while poor Conway in his " Question Box " has to cite the cases of Caiaphas and Balaam to answer the question, " Is it reasonable to expect that Gpd would choose wicked men like Alexander VI to be the mouthpiece of his revelation?"
Is all this finished now? Has the Cuban lawyer and free-thinker proved once and for all that the bad Borgia were but characters of fiction, has he for ever removed this chestnut from the heckler's list?
Those who read this hook, and it is easy reading, will agree that the author has proved his case. It is true that much of the proof is based on documents which we cannot study, that many of the arguments appeal only to the expert, but it is also true that the plausibility of the main thesis and the foolishness of the traditional story is ably demonstrated in a way that all can understand.
The author's argument is cumulative, built up carefully in these four hundred pages and unlikely to be shaken in four hundred years.