The Birth Of Venus

The Birth Of Venus

3.8 (85,568 ratings by Goodreads)
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Alessandra is not quite fifteen when her prosperous merchant father brings a young painter back with him from Holland to adorn the walls of the new family chapel. She is fascinated by his talents and envious of his abilities and opportunities to paint to the glory of God. Soon her love of art and her lively independence are luring her into closer involvement with all sorts of taboo areas of life. On excursions into the streets of night-time Florence she observes a terrible evil stalking the city and witnesses the rise of the fiery young priest, Savanarola, who has set out to rid the city of vice, richness, even art itself.
Alessandra must make crucial decisions about the shape of her adult life, as Florence itself must choose between the old ways of the luxury-loving Medicis and the asceticism of Savanorola. And through it all, there is the painter, whose love will change everything.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 130 x 195 x 28mm | 340g
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Digital original
  • 1844089126
  • 9781844089123
  • 38,546

Review quote

Alessandra Cecci is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the walls of the family chapel in their Florentine palazzo. Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter's abilities. As Medici Florence is threatened by the hellfire of the monk Savonarola, the painter and his dazzling art exert and ever more powerful and erotic pull.

'This moving, gripping and impressive work is Dunant's most beautifully achieved novel . . . Working artistic motifs and subject matter into a compelling narrative, she weaves the big themes of love, sex, death and art into the everyday'
Sunday Times

'Dunant has created a vivid and compellingly believable picture of Renaissance Florence: the squalor and brutality; the confidence and vitality; the political machinations . . . Magnificent'
Daily Telegraph

'Simply amazing, so brilliantly written . . . almost intolerably exciting at times, and at others, equally poignant'
Antonia Fraser
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About Sarah Dunant

Sarah Dunant is the author of six crime novels for which she won two Silver Daggers. Cultural commentator - for many years she presented The Late Show - she was editor of War of the Words (Virago 1994). Her two previous novels, Transgressions and Mapping the Edge, were the subject of major acclaim.
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Rating details

85,568 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 27% (23,292)
4 37% (31,431)
3 27% (23,190)
2 7% (5,752)
1 2% (1,903)
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