Leonardo's Swans

Leonardo s Swans Isabella d Este daughter of the Duke of Ferrara born into privilege and the political and artistic turbulence of Renaissance Italy is a stunning black eyed blonde and a precocious lover and collect

  • Title: Leonardo's Swans
  • Author: Karen Essex
  • ISBN: 9780767923064
  • Page: 381
  • Format: Paperback
  • Isabella d Este, daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, born into privilege and the political and artistic turbulence of Renaissance Italy, is a stunning black eyed blonde and a precocious lover and collector of art Worldly and ambitious, she has never envied her less attractive sister, the spirited but naive Beatrice, until, by a quirk of fate, Beatrice is betrothed to the futIsabella d Este, daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, born into privilege and the political and artistic turbulence of Renaissance Italy, is a stunning black eyed blonde and a precocious lover and collector of art Worldly and ambitious, she has never envied her less attractive sister, the spirited but naive Beatrice, until, by a quirk of fate, Beatrice is betrothed to the future Duke of Milan Although he is than twice their age, openly lives with his mistress, and is reputedly trying to eliminate the current duke by nefarious means, Ludovico Sforza is Isabella s match in intellect and passion for all things of beauty Only he would allow her to fulfill her destiny to reign over one of the world s most powerful and enlightened realms and be immortalized in oil by the genius Leonardo da Vinci.Though Isabella weds the Marquis of Mantua, a man she has loved since childhood, Beatrice s fortunes rise effortlessly through her marriage to Ludovico The two sisters compete for supremacy in the illustrious courts of Europe, and Isabella vows that she will not rest until she wrestles back her true fate and plays temptress to the sensuous Ludovico and muse to the great Leonardo But when Ludovico s grand plan to control Europe begins to crumble, immortality through art becomes a luxury, and the two sisters must choose between familial loyalty and survival in the treacherous political climate.Leonardo s Swans is an evocation of the artist during his years in the glittering court of Milan, re creating the thrilling moments when he conceived The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa It portrays a genius ahead of his time who can rarely escape the demands of his noble patrons long enough to express his own artistic vision.

    • ✓ Leonardo's Swans || ☆ PDF Read by ☆ Karen Essex
      381 Karen Essex
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      Posted by:Karen Essex
      Published :2019-01-20T19:27:20+00:00

    1 thought on “Leonardo's Swans”

    1. I'm on the fence about this book. Let's start with what I did like about it.I loved the detailed descriptions of Leonardo da Vinci, his demeanor, his painting process, and his artwork. There were many quotations supposedly taken directly from his writings throughout the book and I loved that. He was my favorite character in the book.I liked the way the relationship between the two sisters was portrayed, as intricate and complex- making it feel very real. They are frequently jealous and manipulat [...]

    2. This review first appeared in the May 2006 issue of The Historical Novels Review, Editor's Choice) Leonardo da Vinci has become quite popular these days, as has the historical novel featuring an intrepid woman ahead of her time, with an abiding interest in Art. Doubleday is clearly capitalizing on these facts in marketing Karen Essex's novel, LEONARDO'S SWANS. The strategy will undoubtedly sell books, but it does not begin to do justice to Essex's haunting account of the sibling rivalry between [...]

    3. "Il cigno sa quando è la sua ora, sa che tutte le cose di questo mondo non sono che un dono effimero. Questo fatto ineluttabile sfugge solo agli esseri umani. Non appena il povero mortale è sicuro del suo potere e del suo successo, viene distrutto da forze più grandi di lui."Un bellissimo libro, che ricostruisce la vita di due sorelle che hanno fatto la storia del Rinascimento, Isabella e Beatrice D'Este, la prima signora di Mantova sposata a Francesco Gonzaga, la seconda signora di Milano sp [...]

    4. I loved the history and the insight into the life of Leonardo DaVinci when he was living in Milan under Il Moro, and getting a glimpse into the Italian Renaissance was a treat. I would have given this book higher than 3 stars because I love historical novels. However, I had a problem with the POV. It changed so abruptly so many times that I wasn't sure who was expressing their thought. The passage of time also could have been better weaved throughout the story, it ended sort of suddenly, and I w [...]

    5. Eh. I usually really like books in this genre, but this one wasn't the best. starts out really good but then it goes straight downhill and drags on and onI was pretty disappointed all in all. I was excited to read this one, as its about DaVincibut like I said, it wasn't what I had hoped for. If this is a genre you're interested in, let me know and I can recommend several that are much more entertaining and well written. The story centers around two sisters and the seperate lives they lead during [...]

    6. Disappointing. Glad I found it on the Barnes bargain table. The story of the D'Este sisters is lovely, how can you really mess up a European history novel for a Renaissance lover? Inconsistency in writing! It was rather aggravating to read Essex's transition from modern to period consistent vernacular. Honestly, do you think Beatrice D'Este would say "creepy?" Beyond the writing, the excerpts from Da Vinci's notebooks - I really wanted to understand how these added to the story, but that too fel [...]

    7. While I loved learning about these women and their influence over some of the world's greatest art, I am tired of reading books that evolve so much around sex. Call me a simpleton if you must, but there it is.

    8. Estos últimos días me encontraba en pleno Renacimiento al leer Matar a Leonardo Da Vinci, pero en vez de salir e ingresar a un nuevo lugar, decidí quedarme en esa época llena de cambios, con este libro, Los Cisnes de Leonardo (Leonardo's Swans) de Karen Essex, un libro que tenía pendiente desde hace mucho, pero que decidí leer apenas terminé el anterior para así seguir en sincronía. La verdad es que lo que llamó mi atención fue su exquisita portada del famoso cuadro Leda y el Cisne, p [...]

    9. Read this review on my blog, hereLeonardo's Swansby Karen EssexSteeped in the excitement and dangers of 15th Century Renaissance Italy, Leonardo’s Swans was a fascinating book. It covered a vast array of historical events, from the rising tensions amongst the unstable Italian city-states, to the French invasion of Italy by Charles VIII, to the election of the corrupt Borgia Pope to the Vatican. The book had its occasional anachronism, but as a whole, I think fans of historical fiction who like [...]

    10. Set in Renaissance Italy, LEONARDO’S SWANS is an epic tale of sibling rivalry, ambition, politics, art, and love. Isabella d’Este is the primary point of view character. She is incredibly talented, beautiful, and shrewd. She is pleased with her betrothed until she realizes that the betrothed of her younger sister, Beatrice, is not only a better match for her in intellect and passions, but is also the patron of the genius Leonardo da Vinci. Isabella’s obsession with art makes her consumed w [...]

    11. Easy to read. Gave me an insight into these various northern Italian city states, Milan, Mantua, Venice, Ferrara. Also a very human portrayal of Leonardo, with all the foibles in amongst the genius. Loved Isabella's interpretations of his various paintings. But the characterisations were often distant - we got to share a character's interior world and then we only knew of subsequent actions in third person and relayed details. So there was a mix of closeness and distance. I felt it was hard to r [...]

    12. A good read but drags a bit toward the end. The characters are very alive though, you can see and hear them.

    13. Questo libro mi è piaciuto proprio tanto.Isabella d'Este fu una delle più influenti donne del Rinascimento, definita ai suoi tempi "la prima donna del mondo". Ho letto una sua biografia e ne è emersa una donna forte ed intelligente, ma anche altezzosa e con un malcelato astio verso il destino che l'aveva fatta nascere femmina in un mondo di uomini, un disprezzo verso le debolezze del suo genere così forte da renderle impossibile gioire per la nascita delle figlie (curiosamente il marito era [...]

    14. REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERSOh my God, where do I start?I couldn't have read this book at a better time. I'd just finished the rough draft of a research paper on Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine, so I found it fascinating to read about the people and places that I'd spent so much time researching. Alright, the characters:Isabella - Such a complex character. Scheming, cunning, yet loving, she does not want to see anything bad happen to her sister Beatrice, yet she is also extremely j [...]

    15. Reading this recent historical fiction novel was a very strange experience – it's based on the same historical facts as another book, ‘Duchess of Milan' by Michael Ennis – which I love. So reading this book was almost like re-reading ‘Duchess' but feeling that everything, has, somehow, changed Although, I believe, factually accurate, Essex's book is much less flattering to her characters, I believe. Both focus on the two sisters, Beatrice and Isabella d'Este, who were prominent players i [...]

    16. It's just that for so long, I imagined that you had stolen my Destiny, when all the while, unbeknownst to us, you were preserving it for me.Beatrice and Isabella d'Este are destine for greatness. The daughters of the Duke of Ferrara both girls know their future is to marry well and promote the ambitions and honor of their families and great names. Isabella becomes the Duchess of Mantua, while her sister will become the Duchess of Milan. So begins the rivalry as Isabella realizes how everything s [...]

    17. Nagyon tetszett ez a könyv. Minden olyan jellegű regényt szeretek, amiben történelmi alakokat ismertet meg az író és nem csupán száraz adatokat halmoz, hanem megpróbálja szemléltetni a mindennapjaikat, érzelmeiket, hisz így közelebb kerülnek az olvasóhoz, és nem pusztán egy híres halott lesz, hanem egy ember, emberi vonásokkal. Két fantasztikus nőről olvashatunk a könyvben Isabelláról és Beatricéről és körülöttük megelevenedik az 1500-as évek Itáliája, műv [...]

    18. Mundane, lackluster, cure for insomnia this book was ridiculously BORING! How Essex managed to take intriguing people in a period of time that has inspired countless writers to genius and transformed it into a piece of work that worked like a sleeping pill is beyond me! The book being entitled "Leonardo's Swans" is terribly deceptive. One would think that the novel would make this artist and true Renaissance man a leading character. One would be sadly mistaken. How can you take, arguably, the mo [...]

    19. Isabella of Este was betrothed by fate to the wrong man. She believes her sister, Beatrice's husband Ludovico Sforza , was more suitable for her. Ludovico the Duke of Milan, loved power, art and wanted to be famous, just like Isabella. Beatrice on the other hand just wanted to be loved. I enjoyed this book because it takes you through the years of Leonardo da Vinci's best work. I enjoyed the relationship between Ludovico and Leonardo. I think the author did a great job bringing us the essence of [...]

    20. I enjoyed this book especially because I visited Milan and was awestruck by the Last Supper painting. Though I remember the mural opposite it in the same room and our guide pointed out the fact that the Sforza family was painted in the scene I am regretful that the mural opposite caused me to miss looking at it closely. Very informative book about the Renaissance but I long for perhaps a little more fictional approach to the characters. We don't have video/audio cameras from the 1400s so why not [...]

    21. I actually rated it 3.5. Here's my review from :Karen Essex transports us to Renaissance Italy to get lost in the history and vivid scenery and art of the time. She treats us to a glimpse into the life of Leonardo da Vinci and the love, rivalry, and betrayal of two sisters. I'm not sure why Essex chose to tell the story in present tense as it did make it a bit confusing at times. I listened to the Audio CD version and the narration by Elizabeth Sastre was both elegant and fluid. Over all, this w [...]

    22. Set in DaVinci's Florence, this book had me consulting the internet to look at the 2 sisters -- countesses -- who were the subject of this novel. That's always a good thing -- when a reader wants to know more.The writing was good, the imagining -- about their lives, affections, intrigues -- more than adequate. So why did I not find them emotionally appealing? Wish I knew.

    23. Overall, I liked this book, particularly for the author's use of imagery in telling the story. There were points here and there where I got confused as to the timeframe being described (is it a reflection of a past event or one currently happening in the story?). Other than that, the way the author wrote the story helped drive my interest in the story itself, essentially about the life and times of the nobility during the Italian Renaissance, including their love for art and political intrigue.

    24. I enjoy historical fiction. I do not remember enough from my AP European History class with Mr. Dunton to say how realistic it is (cough cough 10th grade was more than twenty years ago), but I do enjoy the take of the author that the wives of the nobility ruled the court.

    25. Great for learning more about Leonard's art but is too dense. The narratives are extense and tend to be boring. By the end of the book I had to skip a few lines in other to be able to formally finish the book. Probably won't be reading it again but is great to reach out for references.

    26. LEONARDO'S SWANS, Karen Essex, ITALY, Ferrara, Mantua, Milan. Renaissance Italy.Notable characters of the Italian Renaissance come to life: Isabelle d'Este and her sister Beatrice who marries Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, are caught up in a court defined by intrigue, jealousy, adultery, horrific crimes, excess and war. Leonardo da Vinci is disappointing to his patron because he never finishes projects. The Last Supper is a work in progress and the horse to honor Lodovico's father takes so long [...]

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