Sue Uden's Reviews > His Last Duchess

His Last Duchess by Gabrielle Kimm
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's review
Dec 01, 2011

it was amazing

From the very first word to the very last word, I loved this book. I was entertained, educated and entranced. I was back there, in the 16th Century, living in Italy with Lucrezia and her deeply damaged and menacing husband Alfonso d'Este. I felt her pain, her losses and her passion. My mothering instincts identified with her nurse, Giulietta and her waiting-woman, Catelina. They, and I, desperately wanted to protect her from... well, you will have to read the book to find out what!

I have to say that I enjoyed being able to read some particularly vivid and explicit bedroom scenes quite naturally and sympathetically without squirming with embarrassment - as is sometimes the case with other books.

I am full of appreciation of the massive amount of research which went into blending so much 16th century Italian history in with the story and particularly to learn about the preparation and painting of frescoes in such fascinating detail.

My only consolation on coming to the end of His Last Duchess is that I can still look forward to getting to know better the admirable and courageous Francesca, who is Alfonso's long-suffering whore and whose life story is, I understand, continued in Gabrielle Kimm's next novel, The Courtesan's Lover.

I massively recommend His Last Duchess as a fantastic read.
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