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By Robert C. Baldwin, James A. McPeek

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The sonnet is reproduced in Morsolin, Maddalena Campiglia, 53. Grillo’s description of the work in question as a “tragico . . carme,” “tragic song” (line 4), has led to its being conjecturally identified as a tragedy (Crovato, La drammatica a Vicenza, 79). The term carme, however, more readily implies a narrative than a dramatic form. 33. For Campiglia’s own allusions to her plans, see 45 and 49 below, and Perrone, La Calisa di Maddalena Campiglia, 71–72. The sonnet referred to, by the Vicentine poet and dramatist Fabio Pace (1547–1614), augurs that Campiglia may cap her success with the Flori by going on to “speak in a higher style of ladies and knights, rage and war,” “dir con stil maggior .

On the seclusion of Fonte’s life and her relatively limited possibilities for cultural interaction, see 3–4. 11. ” On Vicenza’s political situation and relationship with Venice, see Grubb, Firstborn of Venice, 179–83 (focused on the fifteenth century, but relevant as well to the sixteenth). On the lifestyle and values of the aristocratic elite of Vicenza, see also Grubb, Provincial Families of the Renaissance. 12. The best-known sixteenth-century female writer from a Venetian patrician background is Olimpia Malipiero (d.

27 The unexpected character of these works, as dialect poems by a woman writer, deserves to be underlined. A tradition of dialect literature existed in many cities in Italy in this period, where it served as an expression of local civic identity and as an earthy counterpoint to the unrelenting gentility of the dominant, Tuscan poetic tradition. Precisely on account of its earthiness, however, this area of literary culture generally excluded female writers; the Rava anthology, which includes contributions by four female poets, all from the Veneto, is exceptional in this respect.

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