This impressive collection of essays by British, North American and Italian scholars focuses on women's contributions to the Italian Renaissance, in their most important historical, artistic, cultural, social, legal, literary and theatrical aspects. Previously unknown documents throw new light on early feminist thought, as well as on the lives of women rulers, artists and nuns. The striking visual material which accompanies these essays helps to recreate the extraordinary milieu in which women operated between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries in Italy.
Letizia Panizza studied at Berkeley and the Warburg Institute, and now lectures in the Department of Italian at Royal Holloway College, University of London. She has published extensively on Italian Renaissance topics, notably on humanist thought and on women writers. She contributed to the Cambridge History of Italian Literature (1996) and is co-editor of the History of Women's Writing in Italy (2000).
‘In her introduction Letizia Panizza writes that one of the aims of the collection is to recover neglected areas of Italian culture and society, which she has done... Many of the essays are quite good; all are informative.’ — Elissa B. Weaver, Renaissance Quarterly 2002, 713-15
‘Offers a vast and well-organized view of the position that early modern women occupied in Italy from 1400 to 1650... I highly recommend the collection.’ — Rinaldini Russell, Forum Italicum 36.1, 2002, 214-15
‘The above is merely a fraction of the content. There is certainly richness in this volume. Many branches of scholarship gain by having these articles in print and they are an eloquent testimony to the vitality of scholarship in this area.’ — Olwen Hufton, Modern Language Review 97.1, 2002 (full text online)
‘This excellent book of essays... retains the liveliness and originality of the conference held at Royal Holloway, University of London, ... with the added bonus that all those given in Italian have been translated, so that - as the editor says - we can benefit from the work of many specialists, some of whose work has not previously been available in English.’ — Alison Brown, Italian Studies LVII, 2002, 171-2
‘Without doubt, the most important volume yet published in English on the specific contribution of women to culture and society in Italy in the Renaissance... The coherence of the volume is assured by a number of overarching themes.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies XXXIX, 2003, 480
Civility, courtesy and women in the Italian Renaissance Dilwyn Knox