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Private renaissance : a novel /
Maria Bellonci ; translated by William Weaver.
New York : Morrow, c1989.
462 p. ; 24 cm.
More Details
New York : Morrow, c1989.
general note
Ill. on lining papers.
Translation of: Rinascimento Privato.
catalogue key
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1989-03-01:
Truly a Renaissance woman who enjoyed ``knowing many things, in order to be more entertained by all the riches that exist in the world,'' Isabella d'Este came as a bride to the court of Mantua. The court was one of the liveliest of Europe, and these pages fairly bristle with references to kings and popes as well as intellectuals such as Aretino, Bembo, Castiglione, and Pico della Mirandola. In a world of shifting alliances, Isabella deftly managed to preserve the vigor and independence of Mantua. Veteran historical writer Bellonci re-creates the Renaissance duchess through dialogue, interior monologue, and strategically interspersed letters from English priest Robert de la Pole, sent loyally to his ``enchantress even in rejection,'' which graphically describe church affairs and the subsequent ``great earthquake'' that would alter forever the power of the Papacy. For readers of historical fiction.-- Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 1989-01-20:
Narrated from the viewpoint of the accomplished Isabella d'Este, who at 16 became Duchess of Mantua and presided over a 15th-16th century court with cultural and political finesse, this stately novel by Renaissance historian Bellonci was awarded Italy's Strega prize. Isabella dealt skillfully with her relatives, the Borgias, and parried with a succession of churlish popes and foreign monarchs during the stormy years when France, Germany and Spain preyed on the warring Italian kingdoms. Rome was sacked in 1527, forcing Isabella to flee. The novel explores Isabella's roles as herbalist, musician, connoisseur of painting and friend to writers like Ariosto and Castiglione, whose principles of elegance she embodied. When her wayward husband Francesco Gonzaga died, Isabella lavished her controlling love on her favorite, though resisting son Federico. The novel's wealth of period detail should please readers with a patient interest in history, but the flow of the story is, alas, turgid. (Mar.)
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, January 1989
Booklist, February 1989
Library Journal, March 1989
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