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This book features the biographical accounts of ten women selected by the author not so much with any intention of bringing together the best, greatest, or most admirable, nor even the most remarkable women Italy has produced, as with a view of securing the greatest amount of variety, in point of social position and character. Each figure of the small gallery was intended to illustrate a distinct phase of Italian social life and civilization: the canonized Saint, that most extraordinary product of the «ages of faith,» highly interesting as a social, and perhaps more so still as a psychological phenomenon; the feudal Châtelaine, one of the most remarkable results of the feudal system, and affording a suggestive study of woman in man's place; the high-born and highly-educated Princess of a somewhat less rude day, whose inmost spiritual nature was so profoundly and injuriously modified by her social position; the brilliant literary denizen of «La Bohème», etc. All these were curiously distinct manifestations of womanhood, and if any measure of success has been attained in the endeavor to represent them duly surrounded by the social environment which produced them, while they helped to fashion it, some contribution will have been made to a right understanding of woman's nature, and of the true road towards her more completely satisfactory social development. Volume 1: St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Caterina Sforza (1462-1509) Vittoria Colonna (1490-1547) Volume 2: Tullia D'Aragona (c. 1510 – c. 1570) Olympia Morata (1526-1555) Isabella Andreini (1562-1604) Bianca Cappello (1548-1587) Olympia Pamfili (1594-1656) Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) La Corilla (1740-1800)

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