A papal election is compelling theatre. It is a unique event, conducted with magnificent
and arcane ceremonial in a format that has remained largely unchanged for centuries.
The death of John Paul II in 2005 marked the start of a three-
Conclaves have so often changed the course of history but their details remain shrouded
in secrecy. Legend may have it that the Holy Ghost chooses the pope, but we can be
sure a conclave is primarily about power: the cardinal who successfuly engineers
What is unique about the 1559 conclave, one of the most notorious in history, is
that we are exceptionally well-
"If you want to understand what's happening in the Vatican now, read this book. Gripping,
lurid and fascinating, both scholarly and utterly readable, oozing with original
academic research, its a minute-
SIMON SEBAG MONTEFIORE, author of JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY
"[Conclave] takes us behind the scenes … gives us a fascinating insight."
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