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Veronica Franco 1549-1591 c.e

Celebrated Venetian courtesan and poet; although married, she adopted her mother's trade by taste.

She was 'Protected' by princes, polygraphs and painters, and was admitted to the circle of Domenico Venier, who, it has been said, helped polish her compositions (Terze Rime, 1575).

Encouraged by the Inquisition to amend a mode of existence notorious even abroad, she retired (1580) and found asylum with those like herself, but less fortunate.

Her writing style was vigorous, candid and, while faultlessly decorous, realistic without falling into anti-Petrarchism. She is frequently grouped with the likes of Vittoria Colonna and Gaspara Stampa, yet she is more narrative and satiric than they.

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