Lucrezia Marinella and the "Querelle des Femmes" in Seventeenth-Century Italy
Paola Malpezzi Price and Christine Ristaino

About the Authors:
Paola Malpezzi Price was born in Italy, where she received most of her education. She first came to the United States as an American Field Service exchange student and later pursued her doctorate in this country. She holds a PhD in Romance Languages, with specialization in French and Italian literatures of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance from the University of Oregon. She has published several articles and book chapters on Christine de Pizan, Isabella di Morra, Chiara Matraini, Moderata Fonte, Lucrezia Marinella, and Fausta Cialente. In 2003 she published Moderata Fonte: Women and Life in Sixteenth-Century Venice (FDUP). She currently teaches at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, where she chairs The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. She and her husband have two daughters and run a bicycling and walking company in Europe and in Central and South America.

Christine Ristaino received her Master’s degree and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Italian literature and currently coordinates the first-year Italian language program at Emory University. Since 2004 she has been collaborating on a textbook and new language pedagogy based on cultural acquisition titled the Italian Virtual Class, Chiavi di Lettura project. Ristaino became interested in Lucrezia Marinella when she read an article about her written by Paola Malpezzi Price. She has been a dedicated follower of Marinella’s work ever since and was delighted when presented with the opportunity to work with Malpezzi Price on this book. Her current research interests include Italian cultural studies, language pedagogy, the Baroque and the marvelous, and Italian women writers.




This book intends to prove that Lucrezia Marinella should be included in the Italian and European literary canons as a most remarkable contributor, as she excelled in several literary genres: epic, hagiography, poetry, and treatise writing. It also examines the place that Marinella holds within the dominant literary tradition of seventeenth-century Italy as a writer, as well as a woman who lived within a predominantly patriarchal culture. Integrating its values and expectations into her own view of reality, Marinella interprets literary tradition through her perspective by presenting female “heroines” engaged within the pastoral and epic traditions, the allegorical mode, and the spiritual quest.

The purpose of most of her work is to show the “nobility and excellence” of women and to defend the reputation of women from the slander directed at them by men. Although several articles have been written on various aspects of Marinella’s work, a thorough and critical analysis of her most important works, and especially of her last one, together with an assessment of her place in Venetian, Italian, and European women’s literary histories, are still missing. This book fills that void.

ISBN 978-0-8386-4122-4

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