Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Signora da Vinci by Robin Maxwell

Stirring Portrait of Renascence Italy

Historical records tell us very little about Leonardo Da Vinci's mother, Caterina. All that is really know is that she had Leonardo out of wedlock and that he was taken from her by his father's family and raise by them
Robin Maxwell tries to fill in the blanks and the remarkable work of historical fiction. Caterenia grew up in a small village with her father, Ernesto, an apothecary. Her mother died when Caterina was very young. Ernesto was a true believer in education and educated Caterina even though it was almost unheard of for a woman to have an education. He also taught her how to be an apothecary.

One day Caterenia was gathering plants for the apothecary when she happened to meet Piero, the son of the richest family in the village. After that they met regularly until he finally propose marriage. With the promise of marriage, they consummated their love for each other.

Piero went home to tell his family about his future wife and he was forbidden to see her again, let alone marry her. A couple months after that, Caterina realized she was pregnant. After she gives birth, is when the story really spices up!

Caterina was an intelligent, kind, caring mother who would do anything for her son, even at great personal risk to herself and her identity.

Robin Maxwell writes a very colourful story of Caterina and her relationship with her son. She captures the essence of the Italian Renascence with vivid prose and includes details of real people such as Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo de’Medici.

Maxwell did make one mistake, when Leonardo was almost 16 years old, Caterina was 21. She was 15 when she had him. The math does not add up at all. LOL!  Despite that, Maxwell wrote a stirring portrait of Renascence Italy and Leonardo da Vinci's mother. Highly recommended!


1 comment:

  1. this sounds good, even if the author messed up on the ages :)
    great review.