This compelling account of a wronged woman in Renaissance Florence, first published in 1986, is a fascinating view of Florentine society and its attitudes on love, marriage, class, and gender. Lusanna was a beautiful woman from a middle-class background who, in 1455, brought suit against Giovanni, her aristocratic lover, when she learned he had contracted to marry a woman of his own class. Blending scholarship with insightful narrative, the book portrays an extraordinary woman who challenged the unwritten codes and barriers of the social hierarchy and dared to seek a measure of personal independence in a male-dominated world.
Preface to the 2005 Edition
Preface to the First Edition
1. The Context
2. The History of a Relationship
3. The Quest for Justice
4. Love, Marriage, and the Social Order
Sources for Illustrations
Gene Brucker is Shepard Professor of History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.He is the author of Renaissance Florence (California, 1983), Florence: The Golden Age (California, 1998), and Living on the Edge in Leonardo's Florence: Selected Essays (California, 2005).
"Set against the grindstone of social class, this story of Lusanna versus Giovanni, gleaned from the archives of Renaissance Florence, throws a floodlight on relations between the sexes. Gene Brucker's wonderful account has remarkable resonance."—Lauro Martines, author of April Blood
“In the years since it first appeared, Gene Brucker's Giovanni and Lusanna has attracted a large and loyal readership. There is no better introduction to the complex realities of life (and love) in Florence during the Renaissance.”—William J. Connell, Professor of History and La Motta Chair in Italian Studies, Seton Hall University
PRAISE FOR THE PREVIOUS EDITION:
"At its core, this splendid study is about stubborn love and the forms of law, and the impossibility of each to accommodate the ultimate claims of the other."—New York Times Book Review