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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Renaissance VENICE captured in fiction

The broad span of Renaissance Venice in fiction. Capture the feel, the smells and the people through these three books which truly capture period detail and life in the canal city...... and click on the links for more information. Available to purchase through TF (via the link) or from your local bookshop.

The mask depicted here is the type worn by doctors during this period and the long nose was stuffed full with pungent and fragrant herbs to protect from the stench of the streets (and people, no doubt) and to stave off infection.

1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man more dead than alive disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague - and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge. But the ship also holds a secret stowaway - Feyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan's concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice.
In despair the Doge commissions the architect Andrea Palladio to build the greatest church of his career - an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. But Palladio's own life is in danger too, and it will require all skills of medico Annibale Cason, the city's finest plague doctor, to keep him alive.

1527. While the Papal city of Rome burns - brutally sacked by an invading army including Protestant heretics - two of her most interesting and wily citizens slip away, their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed as the enemy breaks down their doors. Though almost as damaged as their beloved city, Fiammetta Bianchini and Bucino Teodoldi - a fabulous courtesan and her dwarf companion - are already planning their future. They head for the shimmering beauty of Venice, a honey pot of wealth and trade where they start to rebuild their business. As a partnership they are invincible: Bucino, clever with a sharp eye and a wicked tongue and Fiammetta, beautiful and shrewd, trained from birth to charm, entertain and satisfy men who have the money to support her. Venice, however, is a city which holds its own temptations. From the admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his Sultan's court, to the searing passion of a young lover who wants more than his allotted nights. But the greatest challenge comes from a young blind woman, a purveyor of health and beauty, who insinuates her way into their lives with devastating consequences for them all.

1468. Sosia Simeon, a free spirit with a strange predilection for books and Venetians is making her particular mark on the fabled city. On the other side of the Grand Canal, Wendelin von Speyer from Germany is setting up the first printing press in Venice and looking for the book that will make his fortune.
A love triangle develops between Sosia, Wendelin's young editor, and the seductive scribe Felice Feliciano, a man who loves the crevices of the alphabet the way other men love the crevices of women. Before long, a dark magic begins to haunt Sosia and the printers: an obsessive nun and a book-hating priest conspire against them, and soon their fate hangs in the balance. Binding them all together is the poet Catullus - whose desperate and unrequited love inspired the most tender erotic poems of antiquity.


1 comment:

  1. Off the top of my head, all Venice, but not all Renaissance:

    STEVEN CARROLL Twilight in Venice
    Laurel Corona: THE FOUR SEASONS - A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice
    David Hewson: The Cemetery of Secrets
    Donna Leon: DEATH AT LA FENICE & many others
    M R LOVRIC Carnevale
    Helen MacInnes The Venetian Affair
    Christi Phillips: THE ROSSETTI LETTER
    BARBARA QUICK Vivaldi’s Virgins
    ROBERTA RICH The Midwife of Venice
    William Riviere By the Grand Canal
    MURIEL SPARK Territorial Rights
    Salley Vickers: MISS GARNET’S ANGEL