In the Company of the Courtesan

In the Company of the Courtesan

3.76 (20,958 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

1527. While the Papal city of Rome burns - brutally sacked by an invading army including Protestant heretics - two of her most interesting and wily citizens slip away, their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed as the enemy breaks down their doors. Though almost as damaged as their beloved city, Fiammetta Bianchini and Bucino Teodoldi - a fabulous courtesan and her dwarf companion - are already planning their future. They head for the shimmering beauty of Venice, a honey pot of wealth and trade where they start to rebuild their business. As a partnership they are invincible: Bucino, clever with a sharp eye and a wicked tongue and Fiammetta, beautiful and shrewd, trained from birth to charm, entertain and satisfy men who have the money to support her. Venice, however, is a city which holds its own temptations. From the admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his Sultan's court, to the searing passion of a young lover who wants more than his allotted nights. But the greatest challenge comes from a young blind woman, a purveyor of health and beauty, who insinuates her way into their lives with devastating consequences for them all.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 30mm | 339.99g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1844082296
  • 9781844082292
  • 102,254

Review quote

There is no more accomplished guide to Renaissance Italy than Sarah Dunant. After taking us to Florence in The Birth of Venus, she moves on to Venice with In the Company of the Courtesan ... Dunant has a sharp eye for the tawdry attractions of the carnal canal city, and a keen nose for hypocrisy, especially in the Church... Dunant creates a large cast of vivid characters, none more so than La Draga, the blind healer, whose fate provides the novel's climax...This is an enthralling novel that will give the reader as much pleasure as Fiammetta does her clients Michael Arditti, Daily Mail In the Company of the Courtesan demonstrates again Dunant's fascination with Renaissance Italy. The novel is avidly researched, but Dunant adds life to the 'true story through her colourful characters. Most interesting is the sexual politics of the time, particularly the presentation of the daily habits of a courtesan, a lifestyle fuelled by greed and pleasure' Claudia Webb, Financial Times 'The backdrop is the real success. Historical and geographical details are used sparingly and the effect is lovely. Almost in passing, we discover that Fiametta is the model for Titian's sensual Venus of Urbino. Venice's glassmaking features in a jewel fo Alice Fordham, The Times 'In the Company of the Courtesan is set just decades after Dunant's phenomenally successful The Birth of Venus... Once again, the author's phenomenal attention to detail is present throughout. This book is vividly atmospheric, mesmerising the reader intshow more

About Sarah Dunant

Sarah Dunant is a cultural commentator, award-winning thriller writer and author of a trilogy of novels set in renaissance Italy exploring women's lives through art, sex and religion.show more

Rating details

20,958 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 24% (4,954)
4 39% (8,123)
3 29% (6,170)
2 6% (1,357)
1 2% (354)
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