By Andrea Di Robilant
Within the waning days of Venice's glory within the mid-1700s, Andrea Memmo used to be scion to at least one the city's oldest patrician households. on the age of twenty-four he fell passionately in love with sixteen-year-old Giustiniana Wynne, the gorgeous, illegitimate daughter of a Venetian mom and British father. due to their dramatically varied positions in society, they can no longer marry. And Giustiniana's mom, afraid that an affair might spoil her daughter's possibilities to shape a better union, forbade them to determine one another. Her prohibition purely fueled their wish and so begun their torrid, mystery seven-year-affair, enlisting the help of a couple of intimates and servants (willing to chance their very own positions) to trip love letters backward and forward and to assist facilitate their clandestine conferences. ultimately, Giustiniana came across herself pregnant and she or he became for support to the notorious Casanova--himself infatuated with her.
Two and part centuries later, the unimaginable tale of this star-crossed couple is informed in a wide ranging narrative, re-created partly from the passionate, clandestine letters Andrea and Giustiniana wrote to one another.
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Extra resources for A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century
We’d scrape sweet remnants out of the tub and play the Lovey game, me whacking Sara’s head the whole way home. Sara was a sweet little girl, and I don’t know why she put up with it. I’m sure I tortured her more than she did me. I was truly a geeky little girl with pale freckled skin and reddish hair. I was either glow-in-the-dark white or sunburned bright red. Boys never noticed me, and I didn’t notice them. You wouldn’t have called me “pretty,” though of course my parents thought I was. I had a couple of girlfriends who really were pretty, and I envied their ﬂawless, tanned skin and shiny brown hair.
In retrospect I realize that town was only 62 miles away. I drive my own kids practically that far every day now taking them to and from school. But in those days it was a big trip. Town was where it was at—a very exciting place. Looking back, I also cannot fathom how my mom did it all. I have a nanny for my two kids, and there still aren’t enough hours in the day. Seven kids—can you imagine? That’s an incredible amount of work just to keep the meals, the clothes, the homework assignments, and the chores straight.
I believe that our family life might have been salvaged if he had been able to keep his emotions in check, but my dad could not stop whatever he was thinking or feeling from coming out of his mouth. He no longer had a ﬁlter. His personality had irrevocably changed. It was heartbreaking to see my strong, vibrant father turned into this angry, crippled mess in a wheelchair. All these abrupt changes were devastating to me and, I’m sure, to my siblings. I was the only family member my dad would tolerate coming near him when he came home for his visit in between operations and rehabilitation, and he needed a lot of help.