Rome was a dangerous city for those with royal ancestry, especially in the time of Emperor Caligula. Margaret George treats the Emperor Nero kindly, showing the reader a sensitive child, almost drowned by his crazy uncle Emperor Caligula, his mother banished by her brother to a remote island, and the child Nero sheltering in the home of his aunt. His troubles are not over when Emperor Claudius takes power, releasing Nero’s mother who seems just as dangerous as her crazy brother. Growing up in this nest of vipers, perhaps it would explain having a slightly askew moral compass (well perhaps quite a bit more than slightly) after all, survival is preferable and enemies are plentiful in ancient Rome. Nero’s interests are music, art, athletics, and chariot racing, but he has a deadly ambitious mother and is soon embroiled in the plots common to the era. Margaret George is a master at combining meticulous research with a fascinating period in history and telling a good story, she does a grand job with young Nero as he learns to survive amid the plotting and cunning of his various relatives.— Deon Stonehouse
The New York Times bestselling and legendary author of Helen of Troy and Elizabeth I now turns her gaze on Emperor Nero, one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in history.
Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar’s imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman—or child.
As a boy, Nero’s royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son’s inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead.
While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina’s machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero’s determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become—an Emperor who became legendary.
With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy’s ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival.
About the Author
Margaret George is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels of biographical historical fiction, including Elizabeth I, Helen of Troy, Mary, Called Magdalene, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, The Autobiography of Henry VIII, and Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles. She also has written a children’s book, Lucille Lost.
PRAISE FOR THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO
“George’s reconstruction of the man, in terms both of his public life and private character, is more than a revisiting of fact: It’s a subtle exploration of identity and the insidious effects of power...‘Confessions’ is all about identity: How is it made, lost, reinvented?...Margaret George occupies that blurry space between history and fiction. And between Tacitus and Margaret George, I rather think it’s George’s account that is not only most sympathetic but most truthful.”—Diana Gabaldon, Washington Post
“Margaret George has performed about the most audacious act imaginable for a historical novelist—an epic work of fiction not merely sympathetic to Nero, but told largely in his own voice. I applaud. And so, I imagine, does that connoisseur of the arts Nero, watching from Elysium.”—Steven Saylor, author of Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome
“[George] brilliantly recreates past eras and bygone civilizations.”—Sharon Kay Penman, author of A King’s Ransom
“A wonderful novel, from the riveting first scene to the breathtaking finale.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Fates and Traitors and Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
“Wow! Margaret George—the reigning queen of historical fiction—is back with this epic saga that vividly re-imagines the life of young Nero in all its operatic, dramatic glory.”—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of Lily of the Nile
"Margaret George has an incredible talent in that she can stand in the shoes of her protagonist and speak in his or her voice.”—Barbara Taylor Bradford, author of The Cavendon Luck and A Woman Of Substance