This book presents the life stories of twelve extraordinary women who lived passionately and recorded in poetry their happiness and heartbreaks. Our English translations of their poetry are intended to make their poems seem to speak their thoughts, and we have included a CD with sixty-eight of their poems recorded in Italian literature, so that we do in fact hear their thoughts. In addition, several chapters take up some controversial art-historical problems centered on one or another of the women, suggesting possible solutions. This copiously illustrated, interdisciplinary book of 239 poems-"poetry-in-context"--- is not an anthology; together with the CD of readings, and the challenging art-historical discussions of several paintings, it is unique. There is no other similar book.
Irma B. Jaffe's books include Joseph Stella; Baroque Art and the Jesuit Contribution; The Italian Presence in American Art; Shining Eyes, Cruel Fortune: The Lives and Loves of Italian Renaissance Women Poets; and Giuseppe Betussi and Eleanora Falletti, Polygraph and Poet at the Dawn of Popular Literature. The recipient of many awards and grants, she founded the department of Art and Music at Fordham University, where she is Professor Emerita of Art History.