Monday, August 04, 2008

This morning I finished Vivaldi's Virgins by Barbara Quick.

Vivaldi's Virgins is a historical novel, set at an orphanage, Ospedale della Pietà, during the decline of the Venetian Republic. The abandonded girl orphans were trained as musicians and Antonio Vivaldi was a teacher there for many years. The main character is Anna Maria dal Violin, based on a real person, who was left at the orphanage as a baby and is desperate to know who her family is.

It's an enjoyable novel, though you don't learn as much about Venice as you might expect. The orphans are forbidden from travelling outside the orphanage, and though they do break the rules at times, most of the action is internal.

Having visitited Venice, it was hard for me to picture it as a place where people actually lived, rather than as the tourist trap it is today.

1 comment:

Barbara Quick said...

You can learn more about Venice of the time--and download a free podcast of music discussed in the novel--by visiting my web site: