The Honest Courtesan

The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen, and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice (University of Chicago Press, 1992), by Margaret F. Rosenthal, combines biography, history, art and literature to speak about one courtesan’s life as an act of literary self-creation and a response to the social forces and cultural conditions that restricted women’s activities in the renaissance. Veronica Franco’s insight into the power conflicts between men and women—and her awareness of the threat she posed to her male contemporaries—make her poems and letters and her dealings with Venetian intellectuals pertinent today.

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