The Birth of Venus

By Sarah Dunant; Jenny Sterlin (Read by)
(Random House Audio Publishing Group, Compact Disc, Abridged, 9780739310533)

Publication Date: November 30, 2004

List Price: $14.99*
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Description
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.



About the Author
SARAH DUNANT is the author of the international bestsellers Sacred Hearts, The Birth of Venus and In the Company of the Courtesan. Her earlier novels include three Hannah Wolfe crime thrillers, as well as Snowstorms in a Hot Climate, Transgressions and Mapping the Edge. She lives in London, England, and Florence, Italy.

Critically acclaimed British actress Jenny Sterlin has appeared On and Off-Broadway as well as on the West Coast and in the Boston area. She is the Artistic Director of the Rubicon Theatre Company and a founding member of Proia Dance Theatre. On reviewing one her recent narrations AudioFile said, "The number of characters. let alone accents, requires dazzling skill to perform ... prepare to be dazzled as Jenny Sterlin works some kind of miracle."
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