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A Romance

Edited and Translated by Valeria Finucci


A Romance

Edited and Translated by Valeria Finucci
Presented for the first time in a critical English edition, Urania: A Romance provides modern readers with a rare glimpse into the novel and novella forms at a time when narrative genres were not only being invented but, in the hands of women like Giulia Bigolina (1518?-1569?), used as vehicles for literary experimentation.

The first known prose romance written by a woman in Italian, Bigolina’s Urania centers on the monomaniacal love of a female character falling into melancholy when her beloved leaves her for a more beautiful woman. A tale that includes many of the conventions that would later become standards of the genre—cross-dressing, travel, epic skirmishes, and daring deeds—Urania also contains the earliest treatise on the worth of women.

Also included in this volume, the novella Giulia Camposampiero is the only extant part of a probable longer narrative written in the style of the Decameron. While employing some of those same gender and role reversals as Urania, including the privileging of heroic constancy in both men and women, it chronicles the tribulations that a couple undergoes until their secret marriage is publicly recognized.

208 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2004

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe

History: European History

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages

Women's Studies

Table of Contents

Note on Translation
Series Editors’ Introduction
Giulia Bigolina and Italian Prose Fiction in the Renaissance
Volume Editor’s Bibliography

Novella of Giulia Camposampiero and Tesibaldo Vitaliani, with English translation on facing pages

Dedicatory Epistle
The Letter
Questions of Love
The Worth of Women
Life with Emilia
The Duchess
The Love Triangle
Return to Salerno

Series Editors’ Bibliography

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