The baroque era at the beginning of the 17th century: change and upheaval are undermining the certainties of the Renaissance. In northern Italy, amid political and religious dissent, Vincenzo Gonzaga, 4th Duke of Mantua, devotes himself to the pursuit of excellence and pleasure. He gathers to his court the finest painters and musicians. His composer, Claudio Monteverdi, creates his first opera, La Favola d'Orfeo. Clare Colvin's novel follows the Renaissance dream of Arcadia to its horrific destruction, drawing on letters and documents of the time to resolve one of history's most fascinating riddles. What was the reason for the ambivalent relationship between the Duke and his court composer? Why did the Gonzagas destroy themselves, bringing chaos to Italy? And what role did the seductive Isabella of Novellara play in their downfall?
Publisher: Arcadia Books
Number of pages: 279
Weight: 358 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 23 mm
Colvin's writing sweeps the reader along the streets of Mantua, the valleys of Tuscany and the canals of Venice. It pursues a fable of loss and redemption, a carnival of miniatures and caricatures, and a history of the conceits and deceits of the Gonzagas, as well counterpointed and interwoven as any Monteverdi scene' Independent'A fine novel of suitable baroque intensity. This is historical fiction with imaginative sweep' Daily Telegraph