Daughter of Venice
Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus and Woman of the Renaissance
Imprint: Yale University Press
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.