See here for the following reviews of:
(Havent read any myself, but I recalled these recent reviews when I say your thread).
The Popes: A History
John Julius Norwich
Chatto, 506pp, £25
The Journey of the Popes
Catholic Herald Ltd, 382pp, ££15 UK, Euros 23, $24 US
Perhaps be wary of the latter book (by Noel). Although he is a former editor of the Catholic Herald, (a good quality and reliable British Catholic newspaper, which I read weekly), the Herald's own review of his book does list a surprising criticism, thus:
A drawback of this interesting anthology is the lack of any reference books or bibliography to support authorial statements, such as: ďThe notion that priests canít be married and women canít be priests would have been greeted with guffaws of laughter by Peter who, of course, was married himself. In his time, priests were allowed to be married and women were allowed to be priests.Ē
You know what many Catholic-journalists are like - they often use invented drama, or their own supposed rejecting of Church teaching - as a sensational point to drum up attention for their work.