Friday, January 14, 2011

Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell

Leonardo da Vinci was a man of many secrets.  Much is known of his work and his art, but little is known of his private life other than the fact he was born the illegitimate son of a wealthy nobleman and the daughter of an apothecaryin the town of Vinci.  Of his mother, even less is known.  Her name was Caterina and Leonardo was ripped from loving arms as an infant to live with his father's family. After that, nothing else is known. 

Robin Maxwell takes the reader on an incredible journey exploring Leonardo's life through the eyes of his loving mother, a remarkable woman in her own right.  She takes us to Renaissance Italy; to Florence, Rome, Milan, and Pavia.  Along the way, she breathes life into a 15th century world fraught with danger and famous personages. 

Through impeccable research, she introduces the reader to Lorenzo Medici, Sandro Botticelli, Rodrigo Borgio, the evil zealot Savonarola, and the rich Sforza family.  There is little she does not leave unexplored.  In great detail, she explains Leonardo's flying machines and the painting of the Mona Lisa.  She provides readers with a means of understanding how the Lirey Shroud could possibly be a forgery by Leonardo da Vinci himself.

For those who adore the history of Italy in the mysterious and exciting era of the Renaissance, this book will greatly satisfy.  Rich with detail, the novel moves the reader from tears to laughter as this poignant story unfolds.




sapphron said...

Oh my gosh!
a bunch of awful anachronistic horrors! even from the title you can bet the low level of this book! no woman in Renaissance Italy would be called "signora". this is a modern form. ("Monna" was the use).
no servant or slave (as Leonardo's mother probably was) would be named "Monna".
and NEVER Leonardo was named "Da Vinci" as a surname. the locution just meand "from Vinci" (the small village where he was born). so he was just labelled as "from Vinci" when abroad from Florence, probably in order to make a distinction among hom and other persons named "Leonardo"

Audra said...

I love Robin Maxwell books -- I'm so looking forward to this one!

LindyLouMac said...

Ciao all the best for 2011. I am back at last catching up on all the posts I missed while I was away from computing. I have enjoyed catching up with your posts this afternoon.

This title might just be a good choice for the Italy in books Challenge!