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Beatrice's Spell: The Enduring Legend of Beatrice Cenci
by Belinda Jack
The haunting and utterly engrossing story of 16-year-old Beatrice Cenci, executed for the murder of her father, in Rome in 1599, and the destructive fascination her story of lust, passion and violence has held for generations of writers and artists.
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published January 15th 2004 by Chatto & Windus
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Nov 22, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
The first section -- the Cenci family downfall -- was quite interesting. Ms Jack does a good job summarizing basics & adding enough detail that there's no doubt as to Francesco's guilt. She also confirms that Beatrice is (justly) labeled a sympathetic victim in the mess of abuse & political tangles -- no matter if one agrees with Beatrice's solution, her crime is most definitely that of self-defense, whether emotional, physical, or both. She's guilty, yes; but deserving of execution? Not ...more
The young Roman noblewoman Beatrice Cenci was executed in 1599 by Papal authorities for arranging the murder of her monstrously abusive father. To modern eyes the case fairly screams ‘extenuating circumstances’ and popular sympathy was overwhelmingly in Beatrice’s favor, but the Pope’s view seems to have been that transgressing against the patriarchal order in this way was the most unpardonable of crimes. The case continues to resonate 400 years later, due to its elements of violence and incest ...more