In the Company of the Courtesan

In the Company of the Courtesan

Book - 2006
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1527. While the Papal city of Rome burns - brutally sacked by an invading army including Protestant heretics - two of her most interesting and wily citizens slip away, their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed as the enemy breaks down their doors. Though almost as damaged as their beloved city, Fiammetta Bianchini and Bucino Teodoldi - a fabulous courtesan and her dwarf companion - are already planning their future. They head for the shimmering beauty of Venice, a honey pot of wealth and trade where they start to rebuild their business. As a partnership they are invincible: Bucino, clever with a sharp eye and a wicked tongue and Fiammetta, beautiful and shrewd, trained from birth to charm, entertain and satisfy men who have the money to support her. Venice, however, is a city which holds its own temptations. From the admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his Sultan's court, to the searing passion of a young lover who wants more than his allotted nights. But the greatest challenge comes from a young blind woman, a purveyor of health and beauty, who insinuates her way into their lives with devastating consequences for them all.
Publisher: London : Little, Brown, c2006
ISBN: 9780316029681
Branch Call Number: DUNANT
Characteristics: 408 p. ; 21 cm


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Oct 31, 2015

In the Company of the Courtesan --- by s Sarah Dunant.

So what do you expect when you buy your book off the spinner in the camp store in the park during the rain? This. Historical fiction set in Rome as the barbarians sack and pillage; peaceful Venice, rich and tolerant, the perfect venue for a courtesan who has lost all during the violence in Rome. Perhaps you’ll like this novel as the mosquitoes buzz you in your tent.

Dec 07, 2013

The book was just a little trashier than I would have liked. Granted, it IS about a courtesan, but the dialogue was vulgar and I didn't like any of the characters, which makes it difficult to enjoy a book. For the full review, head to OboeChica Books (so long and thanks for all the fish).

Jul 14, 2013

I loved this book! I read it awhile ago but still remember how easily it cast me into the richness of Venice. Loved the characters and detail. Would recommend.

Jul 11, 2013

I thought this book would be more about the woman behind the painting (The Venus of Urbino) but the character is fictional, as is the narrator, Bucino. A good historical context for the life and times of those in Venice in the mid-1530s. I would read again.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 17, 2013

Dunant is fascinated with the religious and political upheaval of Italy during the emergence of Protestantism in Europe. Her novel centres around the story of a 16th century (fictional) Venetian courtesan and the dwarf who is her protector and pimp. Dunant’s strength as a historical novelist lies in her ability to make readers taste and smell the world her characters inhabit. This novel is full of lively sexual politics, dark ironies, exuberance and charm.

Aug 03, 2012

This book was a nice, light read for summer. Durant does a nice job of creating a rich environment in which to set her story, but I found the rather short book to be quite tedious at times. I would recommend this as a book to read at the gym on on the bus during a morning commute.

suemoore47 Feb 12, 2012

Durant is an excellent storyteller who blends history with a fast-paced story line. Ilove her characters who are all too human in their strengths and weaknesses.

Nov 20, 2010

I seemed to have spent the summer reading books that...really weren't that good. Not awful, just not that great. I picked this up at the airport because I'd read The Birth of Venus some time ago and had begun Sacred Hearts but was forced to surrender it to the library when I left Victoria.

And aaahhhh. When you read not-quite-the-ticket books, what a relief it is when you finally get into the hands of a good writer. Must hit the library for Sacred Hearts soon.

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