Monday, March 13, 2017

The Confessions of Young Nero

If you a history buff or just enjoy a good story, you’re going to delight in today’s visitor. Author Margaret George stops by today to talk about her latest release, THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO.

Ancient Rome. A notorious bad-boy Emperor. His forbidden love with an ex-slave. His forced marriage to his stepsister Octavia. His second marriage to the most beautiful woman in Rome. Young love, romantic intrigue, sex (and sexual manipulation)—all set against the backdrop of Ancient Rome in the years before the city burned to the ground—are just part and parcel of THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO, the first novel in five years from preeminent historical fiction novelist Margaret George.

by Margaret George
Berkley Hardcover
On Sale: March 7, 2016
Price: $28.00
ISBN: 9780451473387

Told as Nero would have, in the first person, this is the story of the boy charged with leading the Roman Empire at age sixteen – “bad boy” Nero. Margaret has long been respected as one of our preeminent writers of historical fiction, and her critically-acclaimed biographical novels of queens and kings have sold over 1.5 million copies. 

Behind each Roman Emperor’s climb to power lie the grand ambitions and chilling machinations of those closest to him. And none match the spectacularly theatrical and fraught sequences that carried teenage Nero to the throne. He is enshrined in popular memory as a hedonist, a tyrant, and cunning executioner. But how much is legend, and how much fact?  Who is the real Nero, and how did he get to be this way?

When he is just a small child, Nero’s mother, Agrippina, is released from exile by her elderly uncle—the newly crowned Emperor Claudius. Agrippina quickly plucks Nero from his modest upbringing and embarks on a ruthless pruning of the family tree to ensure what she believes is her son’s rightful place in the Palace. Her naked ambition, cunning, well-placed doses of poison (and an incestuous marriage) help the obstacles fall one by one until a teenage boy is given control of an Empire. Both tempted and terrified to assume his reign, Nero’s indoctrination into the incest, violence, luxury, and intrigue that have gripped Rome’s seat of power for generations will shape him into the man he was fated to become.

THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO takes readers through the early life of Rome’s infamous Nero. Through the machinations of his mother, Agrippina the Younger, Nero became emperor at the age of sixteen, the last of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. But the road was a frightening one. The young boy, an intelligent, sensitive and watchful child, had a series of psychological shocks from an early age. 
His cruel uncle Caligula and his scheming cousin Messalina threatened his life, and his domineering and ambitious mother Agrippina married and poisoned two men en route to securing the throne for her son. Agrippina viewed Nero’s power as an extension of her own will. But once on the throne—like the teenage boy he was—Nero did not want to take orders from his mother. 
Soon the world was not big enough for the two of them. Thereafter he was remembered as a hedonist and tyrant who “fiddled” while his people burned. But the truth behind the caricature, revealed here, shows Nero to be instead a product of his mother’s relentless ambition, and the incest, violence, luxury, and intrigue that have gripped Rome’s seat of power for generations.

Margaret George is the author of the bestselling Autobiography of Henry VIIIMary, Queen of Scotland and the IslesThe Memoirs of Cleopatra; and Mary, Called Magdalene.

Here’s a video of Margaret sharing the three defining moments of Emperor Nero’s life.

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy learning more about historical figures? What are your thoughts on Nero?


  1. Rome wasn't a safe life then. Not for the peasants, not for the nobility. It is amazing that despite these things we owe so much to the culture.

  2. Lots of material to work with, with Nero! Sounds like Margaret did a great job.

  3. I know Caligula's story and seems they were all rather messed up individuals.

  4. Can you imagine being given the reins of a country when you're only 16?

  5. What an interesting way to look at Roman history. I do like a good historical novel, and Nero was a fascinating character. Thanks for sharing, Mason.

  6. I love historical fiction, so this is exactly the kind of book enjoy reading. Thanks for the interview today.

  7. Well, not interview, but that thing called introduction! I'm blaming all my mistakes on daylight savings time.

  8. I'm not a history buff, but I'm a huge fan of history and historicals! –And I love Margaret George. I didn't know this was out! Thanks!

  9. I'm a big fan of historicals. Sounds like another one for my ever growing TBR list.

  10. I do like historical fiction!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.