42. Isabella Sforza. Della vera tranquillità dell'animo (1544).

4° ; 52 [i.e., 53], [1] leaves; 188 x 131mm.

Isabella Sforza was most likely the illegitimate daughter (1503-1563) of Giovanni Sforza, lord of Pesaro, the son of a lesser branch of the famous Sforza family who became dukes of Milan. Della vera tranquillità dell'animo is very much a devotional work, but it could also be fully described as a humanist treatise, filled with classical references and allusions.

Like many works by female humanists, Della vera tranquillità remains largely unknown. Some few female humanists achieved fame (and notoriety) in their own time, but their accomplishments, while admired by many of their male contemporaries, were not generally taken very seriously. Although many humanists pushed for better education for women and sometimes even wrote "defenses" of women, they seldom gave up notions of innate male superiority. Even today the writings of female humanists have remained seriously understudied. It is thus highly significant that the Aldine Press should publish this work and preserve Sforza's thought for posterity.

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