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The Prince's Body
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About the Author

Valeria Finucci is Professor of Italian and Theater Studies and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Duke University.

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A complex and nuanced interpretation of the rise of medical science in late Renaissance Italy. Finucci uses the life and experiences of Vincenzo Gonzaga as a connecting thread to allow her to weave together histories of early modern medicine, sexuality, and culture. In four elegantly written chapters, she explores how the drive toward pleasure, beauty, and perfection, as well as the desire for collecting and understanding the new and the 'exotic,' inspired both famous and lesser-known doctors, academics, pharmacists, and nobles to explore the body and search for new knowledge. -- Giovanna Benadusi, author of A Provincial Elite in Early Modern Tuscany
It is no longer news that the body has a history. What Finucci offers, however, in this fascinating account of one prince's body and its diseases, is a revealing microhistory of the noted early modern Italian would-be warrior, lover, and obsessive collector Vincenzo Gonzaga. Chronicling his exploits and his suffering, his illnesses and his diseases, Finucci opens a window on a physical and mental world that is both almost forgotten and yet somehow still with us. Informed by theory, not driven by it, this is a book than swings from the arcane to the profound and to the quotidian with the sure hand of a master storyteller and scholar. -- Guido Ruggiero, author of The Renaissance in Italy

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