Signora Da Vinci

Signora Da Vinci

by Robin Maxwell

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Overview

An enchanting novel on the life and origins of Leonardo da Vinci’s mother, as imagined by the author of the “absolutely superb” (Diane Haeger, author of The Secret Bride) Mademoiselle Boleyn.

A young woman named Caterina was only fifteen years old in 1452 when she bore an illegitimate child in the tiny village of Vinci. His name was Leonardo, and he was destined to change the world forever.

Caterina suffered much cruelty as an unmarried mother and had no recourse when her boy was taken away from her. But no one knew the secrets of her own childhood, nor could ever have guessed the dangerous and heretical scheme she would devise to protect and watch over her remarkable son. This captivating novel imagines the story of Caterina—the brilliant young woman, the adventurer, the alchemist—during the fascinating period of the Renaissance.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440661037
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/06/2009
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 244,586
File size: 665 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robin Maxwell is the national bestselling author of eight novels of historical fiction. She lives in the high desert of California with her husband, yogi Max Thomas.

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Signora da Vinci 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
allieclare More than 1 year ago
The book kept me interested the entire time, although it peeked my interest into the real mother of Leonardo di Vinci...who lead a much different life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters and history of the period came alive!
mrsbutler87 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Leonardo's life from the eyes of his mother who did everything she possibly could to keep him safe and to be near him,even dressing and acting like a man keeping an apothocary shop.
Misfit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maxwell's fanciful tale begins as Caterina, daughter of the local apothecary (and secret alchemist), is seduced by well born, up and coming notary Piero da Vinci. Piero promises marriage, but backs down when his family forbids it, although they do remove Caterina's son Leonardo to raise in their household. Strong willed Caterina finds a way to be with her son anyway and when he leaves for Florence to learn his craft, Caterina disguises herself as a man and masquerades as Leonardo's uncle Cato. Cato/Caterina soon finds herself best friends and intellectual acquaintance (!!) with Lorenzo Medici. As Leonardo's genius and talent continues to grow so does the power of evil priest Girolamo Savonarola and Caterina, Leonardo and Lorenzo find themselves in the midst of a plot to expose the priest for the hypocrite that he is. All well and good, but there are some definite flaws. How low born Caterina could have been so highly educated by her father that she was able to pass among the intellectual elite of Florence is quite a stretch. Swapping letters with the Pope!!?? How was "he" able to join Lorenzo and his male associates in the common baths without taking "his" clothes off? Let alone wherever they traveled and whoever's home they stayed in she slept with him? How'd they explain that? Oops, they didn't, nor did the author. Frankly, Caterina was just too much over the top in intelligence, perfection, goodness and 21C superwoman to be quite believable. This is very much a "what if" novel and should be read as such and not historical fact. As to how accurate the author portrays the lives of the rest of the historical characters in this book? I haven't a clue, but I did enjoy Lorenzo's character (he was quite a hunk), as well as the young up and coming Leonardo and his never ending search for knowledge. Sorry, but despite the hype I'm giving this one three stars.
DevourerOfBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Little is known about the mother of Leonardo Da Vinci, other than the fact that she was named Caterina and was not married to his father. It would seem that she must have been a special woman to have raised such a remarkable child, but historical records tell us little about her. That is where Robin Maxwell steps in with her new book, ¿Signora Da Vinci.¿Using the few available facts about Caterina and what she knew of Leonardo¿s life, Maxwell created a very real, human figure of Signora Da Vinci. Maxwell¿s Caterina first and foremost loved her son very fiercely and always tried to act in his best interest.Caterina, as imagined by Maxwell, was a fantastic character, willing to do anything for her son, even things that could put her in great danger.. Leonardo got on my nerves a bit, but that is to be expected of someone who has always been told how fantastic he is and excels in everything. What was perhaps most interesting to me was when Maxwell wrote about the Shadow Renaissance (look for her guest post on this topic on Friday!) that centered largely around alchemy and the occult, since that is an aspect of the Renaissance we didn¿t really cover in history class in school.I thought this was a very interesting story of the Italian Renaissance. Generally I like my historical fiction to focus on real characters (in this case, characters who novelists can base in more fact), but I enjoyed Maxwell¿s take on Caterina and there were plenty of better-known personages (Leonardo, Lorenzo de¿Medici, Botticelli) to soak up information about as well.
allisonmacias on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read and a favorite. The love that Caterina had for Leonardo is so vivid. And Ms. Maxwell does an excellent job of bringing to life Leonardo's mischievous nature and allows the reader to see into his mind. Also captured was the feeling of Italy. You can feel the tension running on the streets. Excellent book. The book also provides a background into the Medici's and Florence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a ride! A visual and emotional adventure through the Italian Renaissance. Facing the medieval chauvinism and Inquisicion, Signora DaVinci embodies feminine power above cultural, religious and political conspiracy. One wonders if Leonardo's MonaLisa is indeed the painting of this woman most dear to him and the reason why, historians report, he never parted with the famous painting.
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I finally grabbed this book and read it at a moment of weakness and was surprised at how good it was. Yes it has some forced historical stuff in it ( when the author has to use something they found during research) but for the most it was easy to read. The plot has been done before a woman passing herself off as a man, but some of the other aspects were good. My take on the end was when you strive to deceive others mostly you are decieving yourself because others can see thru the veil.
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