By Andrea di Robilant
Within the waning days of Venice’s glory within the mid-1700s, Andrea Memmo used to be scion to 1 the city’s oldest patrician households. on the age of twenty-four he fell passionately in love with sixteen-year-old Giustiniana Wynne, the gorgeous, illegitimate daughter of a Venetian mom and British father. as a result of their dramatically diversified positions in society, they can now not marry. And Giustiniana’s mom, afraid that an affair could smash her daughter’s probabilities to shape a enhanced union, forbade them to work out one another. Her prohibition in simple terms fueled their wish and so started their torrid, mystery seven-year-affair, enlisting assistance from a number of intimates and servants (willing to probability their very own positions) to commute love letters from side to side and to aid facilitate their clandestine conferences. ultimately, Giustiniana stumbled on herself pregnant and she or he became for aid to the notorious Casanova—himself infatuated with her.
Two and part centuries later, the unimaginable tale of this star-crossed couple is advised in a wide ranging narrative, re-created partly from the passionate, clandestine letters Andrea and Giustiniana wrote to one another.
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Additional resources for A Venetian affair: a true story of impossible love in the eighteenth century
He frequently moored his gondola to the narrow dock below the Wynnes’ house and called on Giustiniana in full view of the family. In the winter of 1754 Mrs. Anna finally confronted him. She caused a terrible scene, declaring Andrea persona non grata in their house and making it clear she never wanted to see them together again. All communication was forbidden: letters, messages, the merest glance. It had to finish, she yelled—and sent him on his way. News of Mrs. Anna’s dramatic stand traveled quickly around town.
It is easy to see Mrs. Anna in the role of the insensitive and overly censorious mother—a tyrant, as the two lovers called her. But she had good reason to be firm. She was a woman of experience who had worked hard to gain respectability, and she well understood the intricate workings of Venetian society, in which the interests of the ruling families were supreme. She was also very much aware of Andrea’s special place in that society—and what a formidable opponent he was in her struggle to protect her daughter.
But there will be other ways. . ” What their eyes said was not always sweet and not always clear. With such strong emotions at play, it could take days to clear up a misunderstanding precipitated by a wrong look or an averted gaze. One night, Andrea returned to Ca’ Memmo after a particularly frustrating attempt to make contact with Giustiniana. It had taken him all evening and a great deal of effort and ingenuity to find her at one of the theaters. Yet in the end she had displayed none of the usual complicity that made even the briefest encounter a moment of joy.