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Recommendations needed for Venice 12-16 C

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fljustice
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Recommendations needed for Venice 12-16 C

Postby fljustice » Thu August 5th, 2010, 7:52 pm

I had a request from a colleague for good historical novels about Venice in its heyday (12th to 16th century). It’s the topic of a Humanities West program in San Francisco, and he's responsible for making reading recommendations to the audience. Any recommendations? Thanks for your help!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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Elizabeth
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Postby Elizabeth » Thu August 5th, 2010, 8:33 pm

I'd recommend Sarah Dunant's In the Company of the Courtesan. It's toward the end of the time span, in the early 16th century, but full of wonderful detail about life, love and politics in Venice.
THE RED LILY CROWN: A Novel of Medici Florence.
THE FLOWER READER.
THE SECOND DUCHESS.

www.elizabethloupas.com

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu August 5th, 2010, 10:18 pm

I haven't read that yet, Elizabeth, but from going to Sarah Dunant's talk, I had the impression that it was set in Florence.

Samuel Shellabarger's Lord Vanity is partly set in Venice, as is his Prince of Foxes.

Also the Book of Unholy Mischief is set in Venice. Wasn't impressed with the plot, but the setting seemed authentic enough.

I learned many fascinating and unknown details about 16th-century Venice from a biography of Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, who was for ten years Emperor Charles V's Ambassador to Venice. It's titled Son of the Alhambra, a scholarly work full of references to his copious letters to the Emperor. Good luck finding a copy though-- it's a rare bit of academia.

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Elizabeth
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Postby Elizabeth » Thu August 5th, 2010, 11:18 pm

It's The Birth of Venus that's set in Florence. In the Company of the Courtesan begins with the sack of Rome, and then follows its main characters to Venice, where they begin new lives.

I love Prince of Foxes. Part of it's set in Ferrara. Does it have a strong Venetian element? I haven't read it for a while.
THE RED LILY CROWN: A Novel of Medici Florence.
THE FLOWER READER.
THE SECOND DUCHESS.

www.elizabethloupas.com

annis
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Postby annis » Fri August 6th, 2010, 2:53 am

Michelle Lovric Floating City

Kay Nolte Smith Venetian Song - a young noblewoman being forced ito a hateful marriage, runs away from home and joins a troupe of travelling players.

Lauro Martines, Loredana, a Tale of Venice politics and passion in sixteenth-century Venice -- the story of two lovers caught up in a dangerous revolutionary movement

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fljustice
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Postby fljustice » Fri August 6th, 2010, 4:29 pm

Thanks, everyone! I'll pass these along. Any others out there?
Faith L. Justice, Author Website

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Elizabeth
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Postby Elizabeth » Fri August 6th, 2010, 5:25 pm

There's also some presence of 15th-century Venice in Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolo series, particularly the fourth book Scales of Gold and the sixth, To Lie with Lions. Of course, in typical Dunnett-esque style, there's the presence of a lot of other places as well. :)
THE RED LILY CROWN: A Novel of Medici Florence.
THE FLOWER READER.
THE SECOND DUCHESS.

www.elizabethloupas.com

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Margaret
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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
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Postby Margaret » Sat August 7th, 2010, 5:16 am

Barry Unsworth's Stone Virgin is a dual-time period novel set in 14th and 18th century Venice. I haven't read it, but The Ruby in Her Navel (see review) gave an interesting perspective on medieval Sicily, so he should be fairly reliable.

Marina Fiorato's The Glassblower of Murano (which I have not read) and Donna Russo Morin's The Secret of the Glass (see review) are both set on Murano, a Venetian island where glassblowers were required to live and work so that their secrets would not become known outside of Venice. The Secret of the Glass is not for readers who expect high literary quality, but it does offer a dramatic picture of the Venetian scene in the very early 17th century, and the research on the Venetian customs and political scene of that time seemed to be reasonably good.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

Ash
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Postby Ash » Sat August 7th, 2010, 2:34 pm

It takes place in Florence, but The Secret Book of Grazia Dei Rossi is an excellent book during that time frame in Italy. Even if its not much in Venice, its worth the read just for its excellent feel of the time and place.

http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Book-Grazia-dei-Rossi/dp/0684848406

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Kasthu
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Postby Kasthu » Sun August 8th, 2010, 10:54 pm

Katie Hickman also has a new one coming out set in that time period: The Pindar Diamond.


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