Poems And Selected Letters by Veronica FrancoPoems And Selected Letters by Veronica Franco

Poems And Selected Letters

byVeronica Franco

Paperback | February 15, 1999

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 192 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Veronica Franco (whose life is featured in the motion picture Dangerous Beauty) was a sixteenth-century Venetian beauty, poet, and protofeminist. This collection captures the frank eroticism and impressive eloquence that set her apart from the chaste, silent woman prescribed by Renaissance gender ideology.

As an "honored courtesan", Franco made her living by arranging to have sexual relations, for a high fee, with the elite of Venice and the many travelers—merchants, ambassadors, even kings—who passed through the city. Courtesans needed to be beautiful, sophisticated in their dress and manners, and elegant, cultivated conversationalists. Exempt from many of the social and educational restrictions placed on women of the Venetian patrician class, Franco used her position to recast "virtue" as "intellectual integrity," offering wit and refinement in return for patronage and a place in public life.

Franco became a writer by allying herself with distinguished men at the center of her city's culture, particularly in the informal meetings of a literary salon at the home of Domenico Venier, the oldest member of a noble family and a former Venetian senator. Through Venier's protection and her own determination, Franco published work in which she defended her fellow courtesans, speaking out against their mistreatment by men and criticizing the subordination of women in general. Venier also provided literary counsel when she responded to insulting attacks written by the male Venetian poet Maffio Venier.

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 life and work pertinent today.

Title:Poems And Selected LettersFormat:PaperbackDimensions:326 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:February 15, 1999Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226259870

ISBN - 13:9780226259871

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Introduction to the Series
Introduction: The Honored Courtesan
Veronica Franco, Familiar Letters to Various People
Poems in Terza Rima

From Our Editors

Veronica Franco was a 16th century Venetian beauty, poet and feminist. Poems and Selected Letters is a collection of her candid eroticism and eloquence. This volume portrays a much different woman than the ones demanded by Renaissance gender ideologists. Franco engaged in sexual relations with men of influence in exchange for high fees. Many of her writings defend her lifestyle and the rights of women.