LEONARDO'S SWANS is the story of the powerful Este sisters, Beatrice, Duchess of Milan, and Isabella, Marchesa of Mantua, as they compete for the affections of Italy's most influential prince, the Duke of Milan, and for the larger prize, to be immortalized in oil by his court painter and engineer, Leonardo da Vinci. Sexy, inspiring, and intelligent, her story of love, intrigue, and art is truly unforgettable.
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KAREN ESSEX is the author of Kleopatra (Warner, 2001) and its sequel Pharoah (Warner, 2002), two biographical novels about the queen of Egypt which she has adapted into a screenplay for Warner Bros. She has also adapted Anne Rice's novel The Mummy of Ramses the Damned into a screenplay for Titanic director James Cameron and 20th Century Fox, and has written a screenplay about Kamehameha, the first king of Hawaii, for Columbia/Tristar.
Essex's articles, essays and profiles have been published in Vogue, Playboy, The L.A. Weekly, L.A. Style, and many other periodicals. After being awarded highest honors from the Los Angeles Press Club for her thought-provoking cover story about the missing 1950s pinup icon Bettie Page, Essex co-authored the biography Bettie Page: Life of a Pinup Legend (Stoddart, 1996). Essex is the first and only journalist with whom the reclusive Ms. Page has ever agreed to meet and cooperate.
Essex was born and raised in New Orleans. She graduated from Tulane University, attended graduate school at Vanderbilt University, and received an MFA in Writing from Goddard College in Vermont.
These swans are both avian and metaphorically feminine. The two protagonists are the Este sisters of Ferrara, Italy, in the fifteenth century. They both marry young and well. Elizabeth Sastre does not particularly differentiate the voices of the characters, so often it is hard to know who is speaking, especially in dialogue between the sisters. This problem mars the plot only minimally because the portrayal of the two noble houses searching for power and beauty involves many historical events and personages of the Renaissance, including Leonardo da Vinci. There is much art described and discussed in this novel. Perhaps it would be best listened to with an art history at one's side. B.H.B. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Book Description Century 01/06/2006, 2006. Book Condition: NEW. - Brand new item sourced directly from publisher. Packed securely in tight packaging to ensure no damage. Shipped from warehouse on same/next day basis. Bookseller Inventory # 1111-9781846050404
Book Description Century, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Shipped from the UK within 2 business days of order being placed. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000013175
Book Description Century, 2006. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. New & dispatched within 1 working day ________ Worldly and ambitious, Isabella d'Este is a legendary beauty and when she weds the Marquis of Mantua, all her dreams seem to come true. Superior in looks and intellect to her sister, the spirited but naive Beatrice, Isabella believes she is destined to rule the courts of Italy. But her triumph is short-lived. When Beatrice is betrothed to Ludovico, the Duke of Milan, Isabella finds herself drawn to her sister's husband, a man as dangerous as he is charismatic. Locked in a fierce rivalry, the sisters fight for Ludovico's affections and for the larger prize, to be immortalized by his court painter, Leonardo da Vinci. Meanwhile Da Vinci fights a battle of his own, to escape the incessant pressure of his noble patrons. But in a treacherous political climate, immortality through art becomes a luxury, and the two sisters must choose between loyalty and survival. Bookseller Inventory # 001571
Book Description Broadway Books, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1846050405