Active between 1260-1270, the woman known only as La Compiuta Donzella (“the fulfilled damsel”) attracted the attention of several male writers. Two of them were astonished that such wisdom could be found in a female. The third, the important poet Guittone d’Arezzo (1235-1294), praised her insights but reminded her to follow virtue. And yet, almost nothing is known about her, not even her name. She left a corpus of three sonnets in which she demonstrates her knowledge of literary forms. At the same time, though, she introduces seemingly personal material into her verse, decrying her father’s intentions to marry her to someone she didn’t love.
In this talk Prof. Alfie discussed her status as a woman in thirteenth-century Florence. If you missed it, you can watch the talk here.
The Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies' Public Programs has been hosting a series of public events highlighting the life and times and legacy of a variety of outspoken and influential women from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Program is entitled "Fearless Females: Audacious and Feisty Women of the Middle Ages and Renaissance." Discussions are informative, educational, and fun but geared to the general public. This Spring the ACMRS "Fearless Females" Series has been brought to the Tucson area.