Cover: A Mattress Maker's Daughter: The Renaissance Romance of Don Giovanni de’ Medici and Livia Vernazza, from Harvard University PressCover: A Mattress Maker's Daughter in HARDCOVER

A Mattress Maker's Daughter

The Renaissance Romance of Don Giovanni de’ Medici and Livia Vernazza

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Product Details


$57.00 • £45.95 • €51.50

ISBN 9780674724662

Publication Date: 03/10/2014


480 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

19 halftones

I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History


Once again, Brendan Dooley demonstrates his gift for showing how a minor, forgotten episode can illuminate processes of social and cultural change.—Peter Burke, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University

This exciting story of love flouting social convention becomes, in Dooley’s meticulously researched and vividly rendered reconstruction, a window onto a wide swath of social history in early modern Genoa, Venice, and Florence—from the difficult life of a family of mattress makers, to the luxury, wars, suspicious deaths, and legal skullduggery which emanated from the Medici court in the age of Galileo.—Ann Blair, Harvard University

This is a deliciously erudite exploration of the intertwined lives of a bastard of the Medici who strove for a stable foothold in the family and of the ex-prostitute he struggled, ultimately in vain, to hoist into high society as his consort. Ranging across half a continent, the book meditates on war, politics, science, the plastic arts, poetry, self-knowledge, and the odd, sad accidents of love. It is great fun to read.—Thomas Cohen, York University, Canada

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