Daughter of Venice

Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus and Woman of the Renaissance

Holly S. Hurlburt

View Inside Price: $85.00


October 6, 2015
360 pages, 6 3/4 x 9 1/2
34 color + 30 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300209723
Cloth

Caterina Corner, a Venetian noblewoman and the last Queen of Cyprus, led a complex and remarkable life. In 1468, Corner married King Jacques II Lusignan of Cyprus at the behest of her family, whose ambitions matched those of the Venetian republic anxious to extend its empire. In the first year of her reign, pregnant and widowed, she became regent for the kingdom. This study considers for the first time the strategies of her reign, negotiating Venetian encroachment, family pressures, and the challenges of female rule. Using previously understudied sources, such as her correspondence with Venetian magistracies, the book shows how Corner marshalled her royal authority until and beyond her forced abdication in 1489. The unique perspective of Corner’s life reveals new insights into Renaissance imperialism, politics, familial ambition, and conventions of ideal womanhood as revealed in the portraits, poetry, and orations dedicated to her.  

Holly S. Hurlburt is associate professor, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

“Hurlburt adds much about one of Venice’s mythic figures… Subtly written and lushly illustrated, Daughter of Venice is a fascinating journey into ‘contest and conviviencia’, and imperial game of thrones. It is also a skilled and judicious recovery, extricating Corner from myths that, preserving her image, had obscured her personality.”—Dominic Green, History Today

“Beautifully illustrated, the book will be of value to anyone interested in gender and authority, as well as to Renaissance specialists who want to get behind the Caterina Corner myths.”—Evelyn Welch, Art Newspaper

“[Daughter of Venice] accomplishes one of the major goals of women’s and gender history: recovering the stories of those overlooked by more traditional historiography.”—Celeste McNamara, H-Net Reviews

“Hurlburt has written a book that needed to be written about a person who encapsulates the experience of Renaissance Venice. . . . This is description by a resourceful investigator, deeply knowledgeable in both the culture and political histories of Venice that are here expertly knit together.”—Margaret L. King, Renaissance Quarterly

"Hurlburt separates fact from fancy, presenting a lively and meticulously researched account of a real woman in the contexts of 'gender history, family history and the history of Mediterranean imperialism.'"—Sally Hickson, Renaissance and Reformation

"The result is ultimately a richer, if still limited, picture of the woman herself, and offers a greater understanding of her importance to Venetian political culture and of the tumultuous world of the eastern Mediterranean where so many rulers struggled for power." the result is ultimately a richer, if still limited, picture of the woman herself, and offers a greater understanding of her importance to Venetian political culture and of the tumultuous world of the eastern Mediterranean where so many rulers struggled for power."—Monica Chojnacka, Early Modern Women

“Hurlburt’s book relies on a thorough examination of published and archival sources and makes excellent use of richly varied visual material. . . Caterina Cornaro now takes her well-deserved place among the other powerful women of the time.”—Aysu Dincer, Royal Studies Journal