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A truly cultured woman is as rare as the phoenix: The life and work of Isabella d'Este

Lecture on Monday 2nd September 2024 at 2:15PM

Lecturer: Sarah Dunant
Venue: Larruperz Centre

In an age where women had little public power, Isabella d’ Este (1474 – 1539) stands out as a formidable figure. She was one of the first and greatest female patrons and art collectors of the Renaissance. And her court in Mantua was filled with writers and poets of distinction. Her clever, educated and entitled voice sings out from thousands of letters which she composed in her meticulously designed study, and images – from Da Vinci to Titian – bring alive a woman whose eye for fashion was every bit as keen as her eye for art.

Sarah Dunant is a novelist, broadcaster and critic. She read history at Cambridge, then worked for many years as a cultural journalist in radio and television on such programmes as Kaleidoscope (BBC Radio 4), The Late Show (BBC 2), and Night Waves/Free thinking (BBC Radio 3). She has published thirteen novels, taught renaissance studies at Washington University, St Louis and lectured around the world at festivals and conferences. Her last five novels have been set within the Italian Renaissance. In the Name of the Family completes the story of the Borgia family and the remarkable period of Italian history in which they lived. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s A POINT OF VIEW and these talks, alongside her series on history for Radio 4, When Greeks Flew Kites are available on podcast or BBC sounds.

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