There’s no sex but plenty of beautiful, lush prose in this immaculately researched novel about an Italian courtesan and her ugly, devilish dwarf. The sacred and profane mingle deliciously, and while sexism is rife in 16th century Venice, the courtesan in question seems content in her profession and enjoys her work. Fiammetta is a stunning woman, adept in the art of love, conversation and wit, which makes her irresistible to men. The novel is a refreshing read, not only for the depth and variety of its characters, but for its treatment of what is today deemed as a degrading and belittling profession.

Book Review

Book Review: In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant


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