Chapter

Double Murder in Cretone Castle

in Love & Death in Renaissance Italy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780226112589
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226112602 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226112602.003.0002
Double Murder in Cretone Castle

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This chapter portrays the story of the Savelli double murder, which is by design no less formal than a sixteenth-century castle garden, with its thyme and marjoram, dill and sage, arugula and mint, in tidy plots inside geometric little hedges. In the story, both space and time, as they are laid out, have shapely boundaries. Though the story traverses by flashback, time divides, stage by stage, as in a play or film. First there is a secret love affair, slow and furtive, cream-smooth at the outset and later curdled by suspicion and anxiety. Second comes an awful killing, swift and furious. Third comes a frozen time, with everyone locked in by fear, confusion, and blocked grief, until stage four, the sudden thaw, a spate of social resolution that is set moving by the arrival of a grieving prince and that lets all actors, both dead and living, resume their ordained courses. Space too has its elegant, evanescent geometry of concentric circles around the bodies of the unquiet dead.

Keywords: double murder; Cretone Castle; love affair; killing; flashback; social resolution

Chapter.  9008 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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