There is no more accomplished guide to Renaissance Italy than Sarah Dunant. After taking us to Florence in The Birth of Venus, she moves on to Venice with In the Company of the Courtesan . . . Dunant has a sharp eye for the tawdry attractions of the carnal canal city, and a keen nose for hypocrisy, especially in the Church. . . Dunant creates a large cast of vivid characters, none more so than La Draga, the blind healer, whose fate provides the novel's climax. . .This is an enthralling novel that will give the reader as much pleasure as Fiammetta does her clients (Michael Arditti, Daily Mail
In the Company of the Courtesan demonstrates again Dunant's fascination with Renaissance Italy. The novel is avidly researched, but Dunant adds life to the 'true (story through her colourful characters. Most interesting is the sexual politics of the time, particularly the presentation of the daily habits of a courtesan, a lifestyle fuelled by greed and pleasure'
Claudia Webb, Financial Times ('The backdrop is the real success. Historical and geographical details are used sparingly and the effect is lovely. Almost in passing, we discover that Fiametta is the model for Titian's sensual Venus of Urbino. Venice's glassmaking features in a jewel fo
Alice Fordham, The Times ('In the Company of the Courtesan is set just decades after Dunant's phenomenally successful The Birth of Venus. . . Once again, the author's phenomenal attention to detail is present throughout. This book is vividly atmospheric, mesmerising the reader int
* Reissued in a new look, the breathtaking historical novel about love, beauty, the politics of sex and the power of loyalty set in Venice, by the author of SACRED HEARTS, featuring a fabulous courtesan and her dwarf