The Book-Lined Cell (1441 to Early 1450s)

in Complete Writings

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780226590073
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226590097 | DOI:
The Book-Lined Cell (1441 to Early 1450s)

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This chapter discusses the letters of five contemporaries, which portray Isotta Nogarola, an Italian-born French author, from 1441 into the mid-1450s, as a scholar and a holy woman. All five contemporaries are aware of and approve Nogarola's dedication of her life to study. The first of the five witnesses to Nogarola's middle years was a woman—the humanistically trained Costanza Varano (1428–47), herself an author of some humanist works. The Venetian nobleman Lauro Quirini, who wrote a long letter advising Nogarola on an advanced course of study, is the second witness to the Veronese scholar's middle years. The last three witnesses all wrote in the early 1450s, at undetermined times—Andrea Contrario (before 1410 to 1473), Matteo Bosso (1428–1502), and Paolo Maffei. Contrario's long letter is a classic humanistic epistle revealing little about Nogarola's life, which Contrario knew only from the reports of others.

Keywords: letters; Costanza Varano; Lauro Quirini; Andrea Contrario; Matteo Bosso; Paolo Maffei

Chapter.  5942 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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