The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Into the Wild

The Birth of Venus Read Online Free - Alessandra Cecchi is not quite fifteen when her father, a prosperous cloth merchant, brings a young painter back from northern Europe to decorate the chapel walls in the family’s Florentine palazzo. A child of the Renaissance, with a precocious mind and a talent for drawing, Alessandra is intoxicated by the painter’s abilities.

But their burgeoning relationship is interrupted when Alessandra’s parents arrange her marriage to a wealthy, much older man. Meanwhile, Florence is changing, increasingly subject to the growing suppression imposed by the fundamentalist monk Savonarola, who is seizing religious and political control. Alessandra and her native city are caught between the Medici state, with its love of luxury, learning, and dazzling art, and the hellfire preaching and increasing violence of Savonarola’s reactionary followers. Played out against this turbulent backdrop, Alessandra’s married life is a misery, except for the surprising freedom it allows her to pursue her powerful attraction to the young painter and his art.

The Birth of Venus is a tour de force, the first historical novel from one of Britain’s most innovative writers of literary suspense. It brings alive the history of Florence at its most dramatic period, telling a compulsively absorbing story of love, art, religion, and power through the passionate voice of Alessandra, a heroine with the same vibrancy of spirit as her beloved city.

From the Hardcover edition.

Title : The Birth of Venus
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0812968972
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 427 pages


Lesley rated it ★★★★★

August 27, 2016

After reading this for the second time I wish I could give it higher than five stars. I discovererd new things about this book that I hadn't caught before. Such a wonderful book and I can't wait to read it for the third time! This is an absolutely amazing book. The author has done a lot of researc...

Chrissie rated it ★★☆☆☆

March 09, 2011

Halfway through the book: I do NOT think this is a wonderful book. I am terribly disappointed. Description of Renaissence Florence is fine. I have no quibbles with that, but the plot is so foreseeable, so predictable. The characters seem as modern day caricatures. For me this is pure fluff. Am I...

Aditi rated it ★★★★☆

February 07, 2017

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ----Pablo Picasso Sarah Dunant, the British bestselling novelist, has penned a delectable and extremely tempting historical fiction, The Birth of Venus that is set against the backdrop of the Renaissance Florence and that which revolves...

Tracy rated it ★★★★☆

September 30, 2007

For some reason, I always feel the need to apologize when giving a high rating to a book that is not marvelously written from a technical standpoint--I think I've been privy to too many technical writing conversations. While this book is not a classic of literary style, it was a very good read. I...

James rated it ★★☆☆☆

December 12, 2008

A few points about this book: If you choose to read it, skip the Prologue. It gives away the last quarter of the book. (I found this very frustrating.) The middle of the book is fine. It's basic historical romance stuff with interesting, smart characters. The end of this book sucks. The main charact...

David rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 08, 2008

With an overpowering deluge of verbs and a merciless amount of description, only surpassed by Tolkien taking 60 pages to walk around a mountain, I found myself continually drifting off. The novel has a meticulous feel to it, with robotic research covered by a light skein of unbelieveable emotion...

Sammy rated it ★★★★★

June 12, 2007

Wow, I really enjoyed this book. I read it in a day. I didn't read it like I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix nor did I read it like I plan to read Book 6 on July 16, but I read it in a day it was that good. I'm just going to address my one major problem with the book before I go...

Pauline rated it ★★★☆☆

January 18, 2014

I sometimes wonder if it is safe for a novelist to attempt to portray cultures other than her own. Sarah Dunant is an English writer who now divides her time between London and Florence (half her luck!) I daresay she feels that, having studied Italian history and lived amongst Italians, she knows...

Pauline rated it ★★★★☆

October 27, 2014

I loved this book. Right up until the very last chapter, I loved it. And then… if I hadn’t been reading on my Kindle, I’d have hurled the thing across the room. Ack. I can’t talk about the reasons for this without giving away spoilers, so if you don’t want to know anything, don’t read the second...

Rebecca rated it ★☆☆☆☆

January 28, 2008

I made it to page 168. I saw this book at Costco as I was browsing. It seemed interesting enough so I checked it out at the library. I found myself forcing myself to read each page. I did not find the book intriguing or engaging. This story is not something to curl up by the fire with. It is abou...

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