The Prettiest Love Letters in the World: The Letters Between Lucrezia Borgia and Pietro Bembo 1503-1519

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9781567921632: The Prettiest Love Letters in the World: The Letters Between Lucrezia Borgia and Pietro Bembo 1503-1519
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If history remembers Lucrezia Borgia at all, it is as a woman of extravagant vices whose name has become synonymous with political intrigue and poison. Cardinal Bembo is remembered primarily as the namesake of a popular typeface. But as this book of letters reveals, there was real substance, and real faces, to both of them. Borgia, a child bride who was ruthlessly exploited for political advantage by three husbands, proved to be a girl of surprising resilence and cunning, anything but a monster. Pietro Bembo, the learned and surpassingly gentle scholar, was the perfect product of the Renaissance. The covert love affair they conducted over a period of sixteen years under the nose of Borgia's ruthless brother, Cesare, was as dangerous as it was impassioned, and their letters, which provide a unique record of life during the Italian Renaissance, are a testament both to a relationship of rare beauty and to a feudal society of strict boundaries, dark dynastic drives, boundless political ambition, and extraordinary gallantry.
Set in (what else?) Monotype Bembo, and illustrated with the charming and delicate wood engravings of Richard Shirley Smith, this elegant paperback will be a memorable gift for modern lovers.

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