by Margherita Costa
edited by Sara E. Díaz and Jessica Goethals
translated by Sara E. Díaz and Jessica Goethals
Iter Press, 2018
Paper: 978-0-86698-592-5 | eISBN: 978-0-86698-746-2
Library of Congress Classification PQ4621.C74B9413 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 852.5

This translation makes The Buffoons, the first female-authored comedy printed in Italy, available to Anglophone readers for the first time. Published in 1641, this burlesque play depicts the mismatched sexual desires of a prince and princess. Although set in northern Africa, the comedy satirizes the Florentine court of Grand Duke Ferdinando II de’ Medici, one of Costa’s several elite patrons. By featuring the clownish antics of an unconventional cast of dwarfs, hunchbacks, and buffoons, it reflects the bizarre appetites and grotesque entertainments of the day. Ribald puns and commedia dell’arte-inspired slapstick abound, presenting the reader with a comic alternative to decorous women’s writing in early modern Italy.

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