The Popes: A History
One was said to have been a woman, her sex being revealed only when she improvidently gave birth to a baby during a papal procession. Almost as shocking was Formosus whose murdered corpse was exhumed, clothed in pontifical vestments, propped up on a throne and subjected to trial.
From the glories of Byzantium to the decay of Rome, from the Albigensian Heresy to controversy within the Church today, The Popes is superbly written, witty and revealing.
"The stories are glorious...stuffed with monsters, absurdities, wonders and politics... the parade is endlessly interesting" Scotsman "Norwich certainly has an eye for the tiny detail that illuminates a whole character" Mail on Sunday "A highly readable book" Sunday Times "One of the most bizarre and enjoyable history books I've ever read" Daily Express "[John Julius Norwich] approaches his vast canvas with broad brush strokes, dashing off profile after profile with aplomb, flashes of wit and a formidable accumulation of detail" Financial Times
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