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Isabella Andreini spirituale, morale e boschereccia nelle 'Rime' del 1601: a (dis)close(d) reading

Santosuosso, S. (2017) Isabella Andreini spirituale, morale e boschereccia nelle 'Rime' del 1601: a (dis)close(d) reading. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This doctoral research is the first in‒depth and philological assessment of three relevant sections of the collection Rime (Milan: G. Bordone & P. Locarni, 1601) by the actress‒writer Isabella Andreini: the sonetti spirituali, the canzonette morali, and the egloghe boscherecce. The choice of these literary genres responds to the primary need to highlight how well-integrated was Isabella’s multifaceted figure in apparently contrasting milieus: religious, academic and theatrical. The first chapter on the sonetti spirituali (a corpus of twelve sonnets and a madrigal) intends to show, on the one hand, the linguistic contamination of her writing, which draws fully from Holy Scripture, mythology, and vernacular literary sources; on the other hand, Andreini’s deviation from canonized themes and linguistic choices. The chapter devoted to the ten canzonette morali aims at highlighting Andreini’s relationships with her dedicatees, such as well‒known academicians and powerful historical figures. This study will also speculate on poems’ dates of composition and it will re‒examine the position of Gabriello Chiabrera, considered the contriver of the genre by a large number of scholars. The methods and strategies as well as the novelties in Isabella’s egloghe boscherecce will be analysed in the third and final chapter. The inner theatricality of Andreini’s boscherecce will reveal wide‒ranging intertextualities with the tradition of pastoral works (from Sannazaro’s Arcadia to Tasso’s Aminta and Guarini’s Pastor fido) as well as with all the other works written by the poetess (such as the pastoral play Mirtilla; the scenarios for the stage, the Fragmenti; the Lettere; and last but not least, the Rime, in which the boscherecce are included). At the current state of research, no commented edition of the Rime exists. Many valuable contributions and translations recently testify to a burgeoning interest in Isabella, though most of them are focused on her role as an actress/dramatist and musician and not as a poet. This has led to a series of conventional and mistaken judgements on Isabella that have impeded a better understanding of her works and her standing in the Italian Cinquecento, and in the centuries to come. This research will define Isabella Andreini’s poetic style through a philological approach (analysing themes, syntax, rhetorical figures) and hence her literary debts to ancient and modern ‘classics’ such as Virgil, Ovid, Dante, Petrarch and Ariosto, as well as to renowned contemporaries (such as Tasso, Chiabrera, Baldi). The study will also examine inter‒textual connections with Italian female poets of the sixteenth century (e.g. Gambara, Colonna, Stampa, Franco) and the extent to which Andreini’s innovative pre‒baroque compositions in verse and for the stage were received by prominent writers, such as her son, the actor and playwright Giovan Battista Andreini and Giovan Battista Marino. My research also suggests on the basis of inter‒textual links that Giosué Carducci, a well‒known nineteenth‒century poet and an influential critic, was also a reader of Andreini’s work. This study will also provide crucial information about Andreini’s poetic and social relationships, which have not been sufficiently studied to date in the scholarly works on the actress‒poet

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Nasti, P.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Literature and Languages
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > Italian
ID Code:78121
Date on Title Page:2016

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