This book started out really slow for me, but half way through I was engrossed by the sadness and intensity of their real life story. I loved the descriptions of the Venitian lifestyle in the 18th Century and the eccentricities of it all. By the end I was totally spellbound and glad I read this book.
The Venetian Affair by Andrea Di Robilant is one of those rare pieces of historical writing that reads like one of the great works of fiction. The book contains excerpts from the love letters exchanged between Andrea Memmo, a descendent of one of the founding fathers of Venice, and Giustiniana Wynne, whose background and claims to nobility were slightly questionable. Di Robilant uses the heart-wrenching love letters that were exchanged for over a decade as a foundation, and he fills in the details and the history surrounding the letters to create a masterful real-life love story.
The are moments where the book drags on, especially because many of Giustiniana's love letters are repetitious. However, this is more the nature of the futileness of the relationship and the lack of actual events in between each weekly letter, rather than the fault of Di Robilant. There are mundane aspects to every person's life, even clandestine lovers, and the book reflects that.
There are also moments where it would be helpful for Di Robilant to not only use the month and day as a reference point when he discusses events, but also the year. The reader may have to look back several chapters for the closest year notation, and count forward several from that point. This may mean that several seasons have passed, which can get a little tedious.
Overall, though, The Venetian Affair is an interesting tale of romance, politics, social class, and love in 18th-Century Venice. During that period, Venice was a society that was very attuned to the intrigue that can arise when these difference areas of life mix, and Di Robilant's account of Andrea and Giustiniana provides a unique look into the results of such a love story.
I really enjoyed this book. Poignant and riveting story of two star-crossed lovers. Provides, as its background, a fascinating portrait of life in 18th century Venice and in Europe in general. Good read!
This book is full of history and intrigue. Enjoyable read!!
Not enough discriptive narration for my taste but still a decent read. A lovely story. Would make a great romantic movie.
Good book, esp if you love Venice - it makes you feel what life was like long ago.
I very much enjoyed this book. Although the tale of star-crossed lovers was nothing new, it was written with clarity and restraint, with the author for the most part keeping to what was expressed in the letters, and not assuming too much otherwise about what the characters were thinking or feeling. But the best part was the attention to the details of daily life and political climate that were an essential part of the story, and that both defined and constrained Andrea and Giustiniana. The importance of family, social standing, religion, fashion, all made sense in the context of real people's lives.
A Venetian Affair covers the lifestyle of the Venetians during XVIII century. I discovered the title after having read what would have been book 2 of the story: Lucia a Venetian life in the age of Napoleon, which is also a delightful recount of the life of the docce,dukes, and other rich citizens of the Serene Republic up to Napoleon and his defeat. The author tells the story following letters that his father found in the Mocenigo palace in Venice in the XX century, in addition Robilant conducted his own research while living in Venice for a year.
A true 1750's love story in letters.
A woman tells the story of her star-crossed ancestors, who lived in 18th-century Venice.
The story is told through letters about a love affair in 1700 venice. very good