Gender equality and the responsibilty of husbands and fathers had currency in Renaissance Venice as evidenced by the publication of this title in 1600. Moderata Fonte was the pseudonym of Modesta Pozzo (1555-92), a Venetian woman who produced literature in genres that were commonly considered "masculine" - the chivalric romance and the literary dialogue. This work takes the form of the latter, with Fonte creating a converation among seven Venetain noblewomen. The dialogue explores nearly every aspect of women's experience in both theoretical and practical terms. These women, who differ in age and experience, take as their broad theme men's curious hostility towards women and the possible cures for it. Fonte seeks to elevate women's status to that of men, arguing that women have the same innate abilities as men and, when singularly educated, prove their equals. Ill.