Masque of the Gonzagas

By Clare Colvin

Format: Multiple Formats

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.

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Arcadia Books

Arcadia Books deal in the best of world literature, today. Publishing translated fiction, literary fiction and crime.

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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?

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Arcadia Books
Publication Date 10 Sep 1999
SKU 9781900850254-grouped
Number of Pages 294

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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

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