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Francesca Felizzi, former mistress of the Duke of Ferrara, is now an aspiring courtesan. Astonishingly beautiful and ambitious, she revels in the power she wields over men. But when she is visited by an inexperienced young man, it becomes horribly clear to Francesca that despite her many admiring patrons, she has never truly been loved. Suddenly, her glittering and sumptuous life becomes a gaudy façade. And then another unexpected encounter brings with it devastating implications that plunge Francesca and her two young daughters into the sort of danger she has dreaded ever since she began to work the streets all those years ago.
A compelling and vibrant tale from an up-and-coming fresh voice with glowing reviews and strong sales in the UK. The Courtesan's Lover is a return to the fascinating, decadent world that Kimm fans will want to savor. Francesca Felizzi, former mistress of the Duke of Ferrara, longs to be one of the most prestigious of the courtesans. But a chance encounter reveals to Francesca that her sumptuous life is a gaudy facade, and soon an unexpected event plunges her and her two young daughters into a danger she has long dreaded. "A lush and luscious story of forbidden love." Reader review
Courtesans, hetaeras, tawaif-s, ji-s--these women have exchanged artistic graces, elevated conversation, and sexual favors with male patrons throughout history and around the world. Of a different world than common prostitutes, courtesans deal in artistic and intellectual pleasures in ways that are wholly interdependent with their commerce in sex. In pre-colonial India, courtesans cultivated a wide variety of artistic skills, including magic, music, and chemistry. In Ming dynasty China, courtesans communicated with their patrons through poetry and music. Yet because these cultural practices have existed primarily outside our present-day canons of art and have often occurred through oral transmission, courtesans' arts have vanished almost without trace. The Courtesan's Arts delves into this hidden legacy, unveiling the artistic practices and cultural production of courtesan cultures with a sideways glance at the partly-related geisha. Balancing theoretical and empirical research, this interdisciplinary collection is the first of its kind to explore courtesan cultures through diverse case studies--the Edo period and modern Japan, 20th-century Korea, Ming dynasty China, ancient Greece, early modern Italy, and India, past and present. Each essay puts forward new perspectives on how the arts have figured in the courtesan's survival or demise. Though performative and often flamboyant, courtesans have been enigmatic and elusive to their beholders--including scholars. They have shaped cultures through art, yet their arts, often intangible, have all but faded from view. Often courtesans have hovered in the crevices of space, time, and practice--between gifts and money, courts and cities, feminine allure and masculine power, as substitutes for wives but keepers of culture. Reproductively irrelevant, they have tended to be ambiguous figures, thriving on social distinction while operating outside official familial relations. They have symbolized desirability and sophistication yet often been reviled as decadent. The Courtesan's Arts shows that while courtesans cultures have appeared regularly in various times and places, they are universal neither as a phenomenon nor as a type. To the contrary, when they do crop up, wide variations exist. What binds together courtesans and their arts in the present-day post-industrialized world of global services and commodities is their fragility. Once vital to cultures of leisure and pleasure, courtesans are now largely forgotten, transformed into national icons or historical curiosities, or reduced to prostitution.
Uncovered: a list of noblemen's names—each one guilty of treason To save his family legacy, Rafe Densmore must seize a courtesan's infamous register. No one can ever know how his father betrayed his country! One person stands in Rafe's way—the beautiful Cornelia, Comtesse de Vane. In the card rooms of Paris, Rafe and Cornelia made an unbeatable…intimate team. Until, convinced of Rafe's desertion, desperate Cornelia married an elderly comte. Now, returning to London an impoverished widow, she'll do anything to possess the register. Even if that means becoming Rafe's partner once again…. "Lee's novel hits the sweet spot." —RT Book Reviews on Engagement of Convenience
The visual image is the common denominator of cinema and painting, and indeed many filmmakers have used the imagery of paintings to shape or enrich the meaning of their films. In this discerning new approach to cinema studies, Angela Dalle Vacche discusses how the use of pictorial sources in film enables eight filmmakers to comment on the interplay between the arts, on the dialectic of word and image, on the relationship between artistic creativity and sexual difference, and on the tension between tradition and modernity. Specifically, Dalle Vacche explores Jean-Luc Godard's iconophobia (Pierrot Le Fou) and Andrei Tarkovsky's iconophilia (Andrei Rubleov), Kenji Mizoguchi's split allegiances between East and West (Five Women around Utamaro), Michelangelo Antonioni's melodramatic sensibility (Red Desert), Eric Rohmer's project to convey interiority through images (The Marquise of O), F. W. Murnau's debt to Romantic landscape painting (Nosferatu), Vincente Minnelli's affinities with American Abstract Expressionism (An American in Paris), and Alain Cavalier's use of still life and the close-up to explore the realms of mysticism and femininity (Thérèse). While addressing issues of influence and intentionality, Dalle Vacche concludes that intertextuality is central to an appreciation of the dialogical nature of the filmic medium, which, in appropriating or rejecting art history, defines itself in relation to national traditions and broadly shared visual cultures.
The Venetian courtesan has long captured the imagination as a female symbol of sexual license, elegance, beauty, and unruliness. What then to make of the cortigiana onesta—the honest courtesan who recast virtue as intellectual integrity and offered wit and refinement in return for patronage and a place in public life? Veronica Franco (1546-1591) was such a woman, a writer and citizen of Venice, whose published poems and familiar letters offer rich testimony to the complexity of the honest courtesan's position. Margaret F. Rosenthal draws a compelling portrait of Veronica Franco in her cultural social, and economic world. Rosenthal reveals in Franco's writing a passionate support of defenseless women, strong convictions about inequality, and, in the eroticized language of her epistolary verses, the seductive political nature of all poetic contests. It is Veronica Franco's insight into the power conflicts between men and women—and her awareness of the threat she posed to her male contemporaries—that makes her literary works and her dealings with Venetian intellectuals so pertinent today. Combining the resources of biography, history, literary theory, and cultural criticism, this sophisticated interdisciplinary work presents an eloquent and often moving account of one woman's life as an act of self-creation and as a complex response to social forces and cultural conditions. "A book . . . pleasurably redolent of Venice in the 16th-century. Rosenthal gives a vivid sense of a world of salons and coteries, of intricate networks of family and patronage, and of literary exchanges both intellectual and erotic."—Helen Hackett, Times Higher Education Supplement The Honest Courtesan is the basis for the film Dangerous Beauty (1998) directed by Marshall Herskovitz. (The film was re-titled The Honest Courtesan for release in the UK and Europe in 1999.)
Describes the lifestyles of 16th century courtesans and analyzes the treatment of courtesans in art and literature

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