Daughter of Venice Caterina Corner, Queen of Cyprus and Woman of the Renaissance Holly S. Hurlburt

Publication date:
26 Sep 2015
Yale University Press
360 pages: 241 x 171mm
34 color + 30 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Caterina Corner, a Venetian noblewoman and the last Queen of Cyprus, led a complex and remarkable life. In 1468, Corner married King Jacques II Lusignan of Cyprus at the behest of her family, whose ambitions matched those of the Venetian republic anxious to extend its empire. In the first year of her reign, pregnant and widowed, she became regent for the kingdom. This study considers for the first time the strategies of her reign, negotiating Venetian encroachment, family pressures, and the challenges of female rule. Using previously understudied sources, such as her correspondence with Venetian magistracies, the book shows how Corner marshalled her royal authority until and beyond her forced abdication in 1489. The unique perspective of Corner’s life reveals new insights into Renaissance imperialism, politics, familial ambition, and conventions of ideal womanhood as revealed in the portraits, poetry, and orations dedicated to her.  

Holly S. Hurlburt is associate professor, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

“Hurlburt adds much about one of Venice’s mythic figures… Subtly written and lushly illustrated, Daughter of Venice is a fascinating journey into ‘contest and conviviencia’, and imperial game of thrones. It is also a skilled and judicious recovery, extricating Corner from myths that, preserving her image, had obscured her personality.”—Dominic Green, History Today

“Beautifully illustrated, the book will be of value to anyone interested in gender and authority, as well as to Renaissance specialists who want to get behind the Caterina Corner myths.”—Evelyn Welch, Art Newspaper