The seventy-three surviving letters written by Florentine widow, Alessandra Macinghi Strozzi (c.1406–1471), to her distant sons first appeared in print well over a century ago, but are here translated into English in their entirety for the first time. Whether for the professional historian or for the general reader interested in Renaissance Florence, they constitute a most precious testimony regarding both private and public life in the mid-fifteenth century, with themes ranging from familial relations, motherhood, marriage, and aspects of material culture to the harsh realities of political exile meted out by the Medici to their perceived opponents, these latter including her husband and, subsequently, her sons.
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Judith Bryce is Emeritus Professor of Italian at the University of Bristol, UK. She has published on mid-sixteenth-century Florentine cultural history (including a monograph on Cosimo Bartoli), and on modern Italian literature (for instance, Dacia Maraini). Her more recent focus has, however, been on aspects of gender and culture in mid-to-late fifteenth-century Florence. Her publications in this area include studies of Antonia Pulci, Ginevra de’ Benci, Dada degli Adimari, and Lorenzo de’ Medici’s relations with Ippolita Sforza. She is a former editor of Italian Studies and a former chair of the Society for Renaissance Studies.Review:
At long last, this treasure trove of seventy-three letters written by Alessandra Macinghi Strozzi to her exiled sons is now fully available to Anglophone readers. Scholars of Renaissance Italy and early modern women have long recognized the importance of Strozzi’s letters, but until now only selections have been published in translation. Given the growing interest in women’s epistolary practices as well as the continuing fascination with Renaissance Florence, this translation makes an especially welcome contribution to the Other Voice series, and will almost certainly enlarge Strozzi’s historical footprint for students and scholars alike.
Professor, Department of History, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
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