ABOUT THIS BOOK
Vittoria Colonna’s 1538 Rime, originally issued without her permission by a small Parma press, was the first of many editions of her poetry published during her lifetime. Born into one of the most powerful families in Rome and connected to many of the great political, religious, and artistic figures of the period, Colonna was uniquely positioned to transform the landscape of women’s writing. The first woman to see her own poems appear in print in a single-author volume, she led the way for hundreds of other women of her time to publish their own works. Comprising more than one hundred and forty sonnets and two canzoni, the Rime expresses Colonna’s anguish over the loss of her husband and her struggle both to preserve his memory and secure her own future.
This volume presents the first complete English translation of the 1538 Rime and restores the original Italian texts from the blemished Parma printing and later composite editions, a boon to readers of both languages.