The Back of the Book: With their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed, the courtesan Fiammeta and her companion dwarf Bucino escape the sack of Rome. It’s 1527. They head for the shimmering, decadent city of Venice. Sarah Dunant’s epic novel of sixteenth-century Renaissance Italy is a story about the sins of pleasure and the pleasures of sin, an intoxicating mix of fact and fiction, and a dazzling portrait of one of the world’s greatest cities at its most potent moment in history.
Review: I have never been so glad to read an Author’s Note. I was moved to tears by this book and Ms Dunant has been kind enough to reassure me, in her Note, that my emotion is over fiction and not fact. If it were fact – and even as fiction – I think it the saddest circumstance I have ever read.
Do not be fooled by this, however. In the Company of the Courtesan is not maudlin. On the contrary, it is a book which sparkles. But the force of Ms Dunant’s writing is such that it moved me very deeply.
It is a book which I will not soon forget.