Women's Writing in Italy, 1400--1650 by Virginia Cox

By Virginia Cox

This is the 1st complete research of the remarkably wealthy culture of women’s writing that flourished in Italy among the 15th and early 17th centuries. Virginia Cox files this custom and either explains its personality and scope and provides a brand new speculation at the purposes for its emergence and decline.

Cox combines clean scholarship with a revisionist argument that overturns current old paradigms for the chronology of early sleek Italian women’s writing and questions the historiographical normal that the culture was once dropped at an finish through the Counter Reformation. utilizing a comparative research of women's actions as artists, musicians, composers, and actresses, Cox locates women's writing in its broader contexts and considers how gender displays and reinvents traditional narratives of literary switch.

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The Neapolitan statesman Diomede Carafa drafted a weighty Memoriale on government for Eleonora d’Aragona at around the time of her marriage to Ercole d’Este, while, in her early married life, Eleonora was also the dedicatee of Antonio Cornazzano’s poem De modo di regere et di regnare (c. 112 Women’s profile in the courts was enhanced over the course of the fifteenth century as the Italian dynasties sought to enhance their “monarchic” image by marrying into families of greater antiquity or international prestige.

2 A useful initial indicator of the evolution and extent of the phenomenon is the chronological list of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century female Latinists put together by Margaret King and Albert Rabil in their influential 1983 anthology, Her Immaculate Hand. 3 To these might be added Angela Nogarola d’Arco of Verona (d. c. 4 Following these relatively isolated precursors, around the mid-fifteenth century we find a more substantial cluster of young women receiving a sufficiently serious Latin education to attract the praises of contemporary humanists.

Other examples are Costanza Varano, daughter of the deposed lord of Camerino, Piergentile Varano (1400 –1433), and the wife of Alessandro Sforza, lord of Pesaro (1409–73); Battista Sforza, Costanza’s and Alessandro’s daughter and the wife of Federico da Montefeltro of Urbino (1422– 82); and, most exaltedly of all, Ippolita Sforza, daughter of Francesco Sforza of Milan (1401–66) and wife to Alfonso, Duke of Calabria (1448–95), crown prince of the kingdom of Naples. Similar in background to these women but differing in her life choices is the figure of Cecilia Gonzaga, of the ruling house of Mantua, who refused marriage, opting instead to enter a convent.

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