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Letters Familiar and Formal

After their Italian edition of Tarabotti’s Lettere, Meredith Ray and Lynn Westwater have now produced the definitive English translation of this remarkable text: clear, accurate and lively -- a delight to read. Their introduction sets the historical and cultural context, while meticulous notes fully explain each letter. Altogether, compelling reading that brings the extraordinary story told by Tarabotti's Letters to English-speaking audience for the first time.

Letizia Panizza 
Royal Holloway, University of London

Coerced into taking the veil, Venetian writer Arcangela Tarabotti (1604-1652) spent her life protesting the practice of forcing girls into convents. Her fearless defense of women and attacks on patriarchal Venetian society earned her renown and access to the presses. Her publications, however, invited constant controversy. Tarabotti published her Letters Familiar and Formal to protect and enhance her literary reputation while also chronicling contemporary literary society and material existence in an early modern convent. The Letters flaunted Tarabotti’s literary accomplishments, humiliated her critics, and advertised her powerful network of allies in Northern Italy and France. The Letters document how Tarabotti established herself as one of the most forceful proponents for women’s self determination in early modern Europe.

MEREDITH K. RAY is associate professor of Italian at the University of Delaware. She is the author of Writing Gender in Women’s Letter Collections of the Italian Renaissance (University of Toronto Press, 2009).

LYNN LARA WESTWATER is assistant professor of Italian at The George Washington University. She has published extensively on women’s writing in early modern Venice.

MEREDITH K. RAY and LYNN LARA WESTWATER are the co-editors of Arcangela Tarabotti: Lettere familiari e di complimento (Rosenberg & Sellier, 2005).

Iter and the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance StudiesVictoria University in the University of Toronto, 2012

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 20

978-0-7727-2133-4 (online)
978-0-7727-2132-7 (print)

Winner of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women's 2013 Award for Best Translation

Online Access: OCUL Members
The online edition of this title is openly accessible to Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) member institutions on the OCUL Scholars Portal Books platform.

Online Access: Institutions
To purchase online access, contact Iter.  

Print Sales: Institutions and Individuals
Print copies may be purchased from the ACMRS website.


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