La Cortigiana Poetessa Veronica Franco is truly an important aspect of my personal narrative and influence by way of ancestors and Italian cultural roots that has informed my own personal journey to discovering the voice within; I am indeed a Poet/Poetessa.
I wish it were not a sin to have liked it so. – Veronica Franco
Our word “courtesan” derives (via French) from the Italian cortigiana, but the term was originally used (with various modifiers) to mean virtually any puttana; those who met the criteria which we now associate with the word were called cortigiana onesta (honest courtesan). 16th-century Venice was renowned for the number and quality of her courtesans, and the most famous of these was Veronica Franco, who is remembered not only for her profession but also for her poetry and letters.
Veronica was born in 1546 to a family of the citizen class; she had three brothers who were educated by tutors, and her mother, a former cortigiana onesta herself, insisted that Veronica share that education. This proved to be a wise decision, for though Veronica was married in her mid-teens to a physician…
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