In 1787, the beautiful Lucia is married off to Alvise Mocenigo, scion of one of the most powerful Venetian families. But their life as a golden couple will be suddenly transformed when Venice falls to Bonaparte. We witness Lucia's painful series of miscarriages and the pressure on her to produce an heir; her impassioned affair with an Austrian officer; the glamour and strain of her career as a hostess in Vienna; and her amazing firsthand account of the defeat of Napoleon in 1814. With his brave and articulate heroine, Andrea di Robilant has once again reached across the centuries, and deep into his own past, to bring history to rich and vivid life on the page.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Lucia|
|Release Date: 01-22-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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In the winter of 1786, Andrea Memmo, the Venetian ambassador to the Papal States, was visiting Naples with his daughters Lucia and Paolina during the Carnival season, when he received a dispatch from Venice that he had been waiting for anxiously. Alvise Mocenigo, the only son of one of the wealthiest and most powerful families of the Venetian Republic, agreed to marry Memmo’s oldest daughter, fifteen-year-old Lucia.
Memmo was an experienced diplomat and he knew this letter was only the first step in what promised to be a long and difficult negotiation. Alvise’s personal commitment was no guarantee that the proposal would actually go through, for he was on very bad terms with his father, Sebastiano, and did not get on much better with the rest of his family, whose approval of the marriage contract was indispensable. The Mocenigo elders were irked by Alvise’s marital freelancing. Moreover, they did not favour the prospect of an attachment to the declining house of the Memmos, which had been among the founding families of the Venetian Republic back in the eighth century, but whose finances and political power had been waning for some generations. Still, Memmo felt Alvise’s letter was a promising start, and he was confident in his judgement that the twenty-six-year-old scion of Casa Mocenigo was a son-in-law worth an honest struggle. “For some time now he has shown real promise,” he had explained to his closest friends, “and as I flatter myself of foreseeing the future, I know my daughter will be well taken care of.” The wisest course, he had concluded, was to cultivate Alvise directly, encouraging him to correspond with Lucia over the heads of the surly...