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A Book to Look Forward To. :-) VERY LONG!

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  • Anabella (Bella) Wake
    Hi all, I have cross-posted this to the realmofvenus and courtesan groups, but I thought there would be interest here too. Feel freee to skip to the end as I
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 1, 2007
      Hi all, I have cross-posted this to the realmofvenus and courtesan
      groups, but I thought there would be interest here too. Feel freee to
      skip to the end as I waffle on quite a bit. :-)

      Ok. I think I've calmed down enough now to where I can write a decent
      post. :-)

      There's a new book in the works which I've known about for a few
      months now, but have just today found out more - from the horse's
      mouth so to speak. I have been wanting to share info but there was
      nothing concrete to tell you all, and if it hadn't been for being so
      stubborn I wouldn't have 'met' one of the authors, even if it was
      just by e-mail. It was this concrete news regarding the new book, and
      the accompanying description, that got me so excited, along
      with...well...I'll tell you that at the end. I should really give you
      some background first....

      Umm...backtrack to 2000. I had just met the love of my life, and we
      had decided that as soon as he was able to be with me here in
      Australia, that we were going to join the SCA together. I had wanted
      to for ages, but had an unwilling ex and other issues that prevented
      it. So. We meet, we fall in love, we start planning, I start
      researching for a persona. Bam! It hits me. Venice, I've always loved
      the city, its history. It MUST be a Venetian persona for me. A little
      more research later and the sixteenth century was decided on and a
      little later still a courtesan was chosen, mainly because I wanted an
      excuse to research them. :-) I discovered Veronica Franco, Venice's
      most famous courtesan, and through that discovery find out that a
      book about her - The Honest Courtesan - had been made into a movie.
      At the time I couldn't get hold of the book, and I couldn't find the
      movie, but my Dover copy of Vecellio kept me going. A year or so
      later, when we were finally together, we would discover that the
      movie, 'Dangerous Beauty', was released in Australia as 'A Destiny of
      Her Own', which explains why I couldn't find it at the video store!
      We finally found it, I finally got a copy of The Honest Courtesan by
      Margaret Rosenthal. I read it cover to cover. I love it. I find out
      about yet another book about Veronica - a translation of her poems
      and selected letters, edited and translated by, you guessed it,
      Margaret Rosenthal and Ann Rosalind Jones.

      Margaret Rosenthal is Associate Professor of Italian (she has a PhD
      in Comparative Literature from Yale) at the University of Southern
      California. From her page at USC: "Professor Rosenthal researches
      methods of social history, archival research in 16th-century
      literature and Venetian culture, Renaissance popular culture,
      vernacular and dialect literature and women writers in the western
      tradition. She also has particular expertise in the life of Italian
      writer Veronica Franco." You see why she's one of my idols, right? :-)

      Ann Rosalind Jones has a PhD from Cornell University and is the
      Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor of Comparative Literature at Smith
      College. Jones should also be familiar to some of you, because as
      well as co-editing and co-translating the Veronica Franco poems and
      letters book, she has written 'The Currency of Eros: Women's Love
      Lyric in Europe 1540 - 1620' and 'Renaissance Clothing and the
      Materials of Memory', co-written with her husband Peter Stallybrass.
      She writes on her page at Smith college: "Because I like
      collaborating when I write, I wrote my third book, on how people
      made, bought, wore and thought about clothes in the Renaissance
      (mainly in England), with my husband, Peter Stallybrass. Though we
      nearly killed each other several times during the six years it took
      us to finish Clothing and the Materials of Memory (Cambridge
      University Press, 2000), it was fun to be participating in the turn
      to material culture that's been influencing literary and cultural
      studies—and I got to read a lot about spinners and witches and a
      weird accessory called a busk, which women used to stiffen the front
      of their corsets—and hide the little love messages men had carved on
      the ivory or metal doing the stiffening". You see? Another idol. :-)

      Ok, back to the present. A few months ago I was idly googling, as you
      do, and decided to go looking for any current info on the sixteenth
      century Venetian gentleman who was, in a way, the very first breath
      of inspiration for my persona and the subject of my first ever book
      purchase when I began to research Venetian fashion - Cesare Vecellio.
      Most of you are probably aware of the reprint of his 16th work put
      out by Dover Publications, but what some of you may not know is that
      the original book written in 1590 and then again in 1598 contained
      Vecellio's observations regarding Venetian, Italian, and other
      fashion from around the world. Dover stripped the text,
      understandably so because it was in Italian. Apart from snippets in
      books here and there, there is not much out there written about the
      accompanying text to Vecellio's costume book. That is, until now. :-)

      Margaret Rosenthal and Ann Rosalind Jones are good friends (Ann calls
      her Tita) and have collaborated once again to translate Cesare
      Vecellio's costume book. YES!! I first found a brief reference to it
      by googling his name (or was it Ann Rosalind Jones I was googling? I
      can't remember!), and after googling some more found an absolutely
      mouth watering article on the upcoming book that whipped me into a
      frenzy of excitement. (Don't worry, I'll give a link at the end!) The
      first page stated that the book was going to be published by Penn
      State University Press, so another google later and I'm checking out
      the website. Nothing. So, not content to leave it at that, I put my
      name down to be notified when something with Ms Jones' name on it is
      published. But I'm really not happy with that, and a month or so
      later I can take the waiting no longer and I write them to find out
      if, in fact, it is going to be published by PSUP and when. They tell
      me it is in fact going to be published by Thames and Hudson. To cut
      an already very long story short, I discover that neither the Uk not
      US office of T&H knows anything about it. I stew. A lot.

      I finally decide that it can't hurt to ask Ms Jones herself, so I e-
      mailed her yesterday (about 11am Wednesday morning - 7pm or so New
      York time), signing the e-mail with 'Anabella', with no mention of my
      website. I had once upon a time e-mailed Ms Rosenthal, with no reply,
      so whilst I was hopeful I would get a reply, I was also ready to not
      hear back from her. As you know by now not only did she reply, but
      she did so almost immediately (received reply same Wednesday 6pm),
      and with curiosity as to why I was asking. (And she did confirm that
      yes, T&H were going to publish but not for a while yet). So this
      morning (Thursday) I wrote, gave her my background and tried to
      explain just why it is that I'm so rabidly anticipating the book. I
      included a link to my website, since I'd mentioned it in the e-mail.
      I sent it off at about 2pm. The reply arrived at 4pm. One of the
      reasons I was so tickled pink to hear back from her was - she and
      Margaret Rosenthal both recognised my name and know my website! Of
      course, that was enough to send ME to cloud nine, but here's the
      really exciting bit....

      (The e-mail I received just a few hours ago...)

      "Ah, Bella!

      Of course, Tita and I have seen your website. Nice to meet you, if
      only by email.

      Thames and Hudson will be the distributor of our book everywhere
      except in the US, where it'll be distributed by WW Norton. You'll
      love the version T and H are doing--it includes 100 color images,
      many from portraits of people wearing the specific garments named and
      described by Vecellio--whose commentary is fascinating on many
      levels. He mentions textiles, colors, accessories, ideal body
      types . . . lots of things that'll interest you. I just wish it were
      coming out sooner--but fall 2009 sounds like the earliest likely
      date. Tita and I are now collecting tranparencies and permissions for
      the images. What a task!

      Do, by all means, tell your costume allies about the book. I could
      send you some snippets from our translation now, if you'd like. Just
      let me know if there are particular figures in the Dover that you'd
      like to read V's descriptions of.

      all best,

      Ok. THAT should explain why I was hyperventilating, even if it's not
      that exciting to anyone else........LOL.....Of course I'm going to
      say 'yes, please' to her offer, and I will keep you all posted. :-)

      Here's the nitty-gritty, and remember you heard it here first!

      Margaret Rosenthal; The Clothing of the Renaissance World: Cesare
      Vecellio's Costume Book (1590/1598), edited and translated with Ann
      R. Jones (Thames and Hudson, forthcoming 2007), including
      introduction, technical glossary and notes.

      The mouth-watering article: "Translating Fashion: Customs and Clothes
      in the Age of Exploration, By Laura Wolff Scanlan"

      Ok, now I have to compose another e-mail to ask for the snippets, but
      first I'll take out Vecellio and see if I can't narrow it down to
      only three or four plates! WOO-HOO!

    • Cilean_69
      Bella! Indeed I will be waiting for this book to arrive! Great news to costumers and researchers alike! Cilean
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 4, 2007

        Indeed I will be waiting for this book to arrive!
        Great news to costumers and researchers alike!

      • Susan Griner
        That is so exciting. That sounds like a book worth waiting for. Of course you were hyperventilating. There s nothing like being acknowledged by some one you
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 5, 2007
          That is so exciting. That sounds like a book worth waiting for. Of course you were
          hyperventilating. There's nothing like being acknowledged by some one you respect!
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