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Foreign rights sold:
Hungary (Jelenkor); Spain (Anagrama)

Giovanni Briccio is a plebeian genius, opposed by the literati and ignored by the court: he is a mattress-maker, a painter of scant fame, a popular playwright, actor and poet. He has a daughter, Plautilla. Briccio wants to make her the total artist he has failed to become and teaches her about painting, mathematics, science. Plautilla, however, is doubly disadvantaged as a female and of humble origins. She struggles in Rome’s artistic circles, dominated by the genius of Bernini and Pietro da Cortona, and conditioned by the patronage of the Barberini family. Her father’s overbearing presence forces her to sacrifice her youth. But the meeting with Elpidio Benedetti, a young aspiring writer, will eventually change her life. Plautilla Bricci and Elpidio Benedetti, both apparently unarmed due to the dangers of the court, will become the most extravagant couple of seventeenth- century Rome. She a virgin, he an abbot, both of them held to chastity to safeguard the only treasure they possess. They must hide and officially ignore each other for twenty-five years, until they can embark on an enterprise that crowns the dream of a lifetime: the construction of a Villa designed, planned and executed by the woman.

Genre: Narrative

Publishing house:

Giulio Einaudi editore

Year of publication: 2019

Published in: Torino

Number of pages: 568

Price: 22

ISBN: 9788806209421

Foreign rights manager: Rosaria Carpinelli Consulenze Editoriali

Premi: Premio John Fante, Premio Capalbio, Premio Alassio “Un autore per l’Europa”, Premio Corrado Alvaro e Libero Bigiaretti, Premio Dessì, Premio Io Donna, Premio Stresa, Premio Mastercard


Melania G. Mazzucco

Melania G Mazzucco is the author of award winning novels, translated all over the world.