A rich, compelling historical novel-and a mystery of royal intrigue.
In a city-state known for magnificence, where love affairs and conspiracies play out amidst brilliant painters, poets and musicians, the powerful and ambitious Alfonso d'Este, duke of Ferrara, takes a new bride. Half of Europe is certain he murdered his first wife, Lucrezia, the luminous child of the Medici. But no one dares accuse him, and no one has proof-least of all his second duchess, the far less beautiful but delightfully clever Barbara of Austria.
At first determined to ignore the rumors about her new husband, Barbara embraces the pleasures of the Ferrarese court. Yet wherever she turns she hears whispers of the first duchess's wayward life and mysterious death. Barbara asks questions-a dangerous mistake for a duchess of Ferrara. Suddenly, to save her own life, Barbara has no choice but to risk the duke's terrifying displeasure and discover the truth of Lucrezia's death-or she will share her fate.
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Elizabeth Loupas held various positions in radio and television, and worked as an editor, writer, and marketing consultant. She holds degrees in literary studies and library/information science. She lives with her husband and two beagles. She is the author of The Second Duchess, The Flower Reader, and The Red Lily Crown.From Publishers Weekly:
Robert Browning's classic poem "My Last Duchess" provides the starting point for Loupas's winning debut set in Renaissance Italy. Barbara of Austria, the virgin bride of Alfonso d'Este, the fifth and last Borgia duke of Ferrara, has heard rumors that Alfonso murdered his first wife, but by marrying the duke she has escaped the convent as well as her controlling brother, Maximilian II. "Banquets and music, dancing and fashion, loving and loathing--everything is an art in Ferrara," one of the duke's sisters tells Barbara, who must carefully maneuver around the gossip about her predecessor, gossip that the duke has forbidden, as she seeks to establish herself at court. Meanwhile, spies lurk around every corner, ready to besmirch her reputation and standing. Readers will warm immediately to the clever, intelligent Barbara, while the demanding, sometimes brutal, Alonso makes an intriguing man of mystery. (Jan.)
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Book Description Arrow, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Shipped from the UK within 2 business days of order being placed. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000068481
Book Description Arrow, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 432 pages. 7.80x5.08x1.06 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0099576392
Book Description Arrow Books Ltd, 2014. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. New & dispatched within 1 working day ________ Barbara of Austria is plain, quick-witted and sensible. She also desperately needs a husband, for unmarried at twenty-six, she is about to be packed off to a convent, like her sisters before her. So it is that she seizes what seems to be her last chance - a proposal of marriage from Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, Lucrezia Borgia's grandson, clever, handsome, powerful - and widely believed to have murdered his first wife, Lucrezia de Medici. Barbara goes into her marriage clear-eyed, fascinated by her dangerous, enigmatic new husband - and increasingly - recklessly - driven to discover the truth about the death of his first wife. Bookseller Inventory # 001707