lucia

 

 

 

 

 

Portrait of Lucia Mocenigo
by Angelica Kauffmann

"I'd like to say that A Venetian Affair is the
best novel I've read in years - it's almost as good as
Les Liaisons Dangereuses - except that it
happens to be true. Andrea di Robilant's story of
Andrea Memmo and Giustiniana Wynne is so
immediate, vivid, and powerful that it takes you
inside the minds and, indeed, the bodies of its two
passionate protagonists. And this, ineighteenth-century Venice, is an unforgettable place to be."
—Simon Schama


"Andrea di Robilant brilliantly evokes Venice
in the age of Casanova—masked balls,
elegant salons, louche casinos, and social, political,
and romantic intrigue. A Venetian Affair
is luminous, erotic, and utterly spellbinding."
—John Berendt, author of Midnight in the
Garden of Good and Evil


"A Venetian Affair is an enchantment.
Andrea di Robilant hasn't just brought a splendid
Venetian love affair to life, he has brought
eighteenth century Europe to life, both intimately
and grandly. This is narrative history
at its very best." —John Casey


"Lucia in the Age of Napoleon is less a biography
than a ghost story; unsettling, exciting,
almost unbelievable in its immediacy.
Lucia will become as vital a part of Venetian
history as Casanova, or Byron himself . . . "
—Frances Wilson, Sunday Telegraph


"Di Robilant paints a vivacious picture of the
Napoleonic age." —The New Yorker

A Venetian Affair

The New York Times

"The contradictions, complications and inscrutabilities encompassed by Andrea di
Robilant in his new book, A Venetian Affair, are so wonderfully numerous that the plot
at its heart very nearly defies summary ..."

Times Literary Supplement

"Supple and elegant a stylist as he is, di Robilant never allows his own enjoyment in
unfolding this long-hidden narrative to upstage the raw drama of the correspondence
forming its backbone. he is entirely at home with the world of the period ... The whole
passionate correspondence, to which A Venetian Affair presents such a finely balanced
introduction,is a thrilling addition to the corpus of eighteenth century letter-writing."

The Financial Times

"A full-on, rollicking costume drama...The letters reveal fascinating day-to-day detail about
life in eighteenth century Venice, and in particular the elaborate codes of society ... Andrea
di Robilant has sleuthed out the story behind the letters with skill, weaving together a
highly enjoyable narrative."

 

Mail on Sunday

"Brilliant ... Like all the sexiest love affairs, theirs is strictly forbidden. So full of twists
and turns that you have to keep reminding yourself that it actually happened."

 

The Library Journal

"Serialized in The New Yorker, this romantic tale of mid-18th-century Venice
purports to tell the story-using actual correspondence-of the seven-year affair between
Andrea Memmo, scion of one of Venice's 12 patrician families, and beautiful, alluring
GiustinianaWynne ... "

Daily Telegraph

"An enthralling love story...The letters reveal all the excitement of a clandestine relationship...
Passion has seldom seemed so intense." –Miranda Seymour

Publishers Weekly

"The genesis of this engaging book was a stash of letters the author's father found in the
old family palazzo in Venice. Written in the mid-1700s by his ancestor, Andrea Memmo,
scion of an ancient Venetian family, to Giustiniana Wynne, the illegitimate daughter
of a British father and a Venetian mother ... "

Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon

The Washington Post

"What an amazing life, what a great story! And it's so deftly told by Lucia's great-greatgreat-
great-grandson ... genuine treasure ..."

Kirkus Reviews

"Well-composed ... the author's meticulous attention to personal detail yields compelling
historical character sketches ..."

Independent on Sunday

"Lucia's life is an inspired choice for a parable of the end of the Venetian republic … Her
letters to her [sister Paolina] paint Napoleon's Europe in all its grand and bloody colours
… Andrea Di Robilant's strengths are in his portraits of Venetians during their city's
worst times ... "

The New Yorker

"Drawing on the letters of his great-great-great-great-grandmother Lucia Mocenigo,
a Venetian aristocrat, di Robilant paints a vivacious picture of the Napoleonic age. The
fifteen-year-old Lucia's correspondence with her new fiancé ... "

W

"Fascinating ... As with many engaging tales, this one proved elusive and
complex–perfect fodder for a historian of di Robilant's imaginative bent ... Most
stunningly perhaps, Di Robilant's book blows the cover off a two-century-old
family secret ... "

Irresistible North (Knopf)/ Venetian Navigators (Faber)

New York Times

“…di Robilant is  a fine, solid researcher and a thoughtful interpreter; he has an acute sense of
the ways in which views of the world were changing, largely as a result of geographical discoveries.”

Los Angeles Times

“Irresistible North is a captivating work of recovery. Di Robilant has a flair for the evocative
detail and his willingness to travel off the beaten path enlivens his account.”


Financial Times

“In setting out to elucidate a cartographical mystery, di Robilant has also shed light on the
16th century mind, caught somewhere between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.”


The Independent

“A diverting and delightful book…In this hybrid of travelogue and history, di Robilant muses
on questions of Venetian cartography and navigation. An absorbing work that vividly
recreates post-medieval Venice.”


The Spectator

“Traveling in pursuit of an old Venetian tale, Andrea di Robilant has produced a clever, highly
entertaining book about uncertainty, and those quests that obscure as much as they reveal.”


The Washington Times

“Readers will be intrigued by the this very readable account of how two Venetian brothers
possibly made it  to the New World before Columbus.”


The San Francisco Book Review

“Di Robilant is not one to give up easily and it is a delight to watch him track the story from
Venice to Iceland to Greenland in this engrossing adventure.”


The Library Journal

“In this engaging book about a historian in pursuit of a riddle, di Robilant relates not just what
he found but how he found it and both what he knew and didn't know by the end of the quest.
It's the best kind of history: scrupulously honest, with attention to detail, and never exaggerated.
The puzzle is a centuries-old map, supposedly drawn by the Zen brothers—merchants, sailors
and explorers in late 14th-century Venice. The map was said to incorporate what they discovered
on their groundbreaking excursions into the sub-Arctic North Atlantic. But is the map, which
appeared only in print a century and a half later in a book by a Zen descendant, authentic?
VERDICT Di Robilant's book is rich in exotic detail (e.g., as he visits a burning mountain
on the Greenland coast), but at heart it is very modest, a work in which the author never
claims to know more than he does. His unassuming mastery of the facts illuminates this
little-known episode in late medieval history”

 

Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the
Venetian Countryside

KIRKUS REVIEW

"A unique exploration of how human history often leaves its imprint in the most unexpected of places"

Publishers Weekly

"History and anecdote abound on this entertaining journey with di Robilant on his quest to get the rose officially named by the American Rose Society"

 

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