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About the Book:
The chilling story of Lucrezia de Medici, duchess to Alfonso d’Este, His Last Duchess paints a portrait of a lonely young girl and her marriage to an inscrutable duke. Lucrezia longs for love, Alfonso desperately needs an heir, and in a true story of lust and dark decadence, the dramatic fireworks the marriage kindles threaten to destroy the duke’s entire inheritance–and Lucrezia’s future. His Last Duchess gorgeously brings to life the passions and people of sixteenth-century Tuscany and Ferrara.
About the Author:
Gabrielle Kimm is a graduate of the creative writing master’s program at the University of Chichester. She is writing her second novel, The Courtesan’s Lover, which features one of the characters of His Last Duchess as the heroine. www.gabriellekimm.co.uk
This is a tale of love and lust. Ms. Kimm does an excellent job of weaving the strings together to create a compelling story of love gone very wrong and lust unsatisfied. At least within the confines of the marriage of Lucrezia and Alfonse. That does not mean it isn’t found elsewhere.
Based on the poem by Robert Browning called, His Last Duchess, Ms. Kimm recreates the sixteenth century in its glory.
Alfonse d’Este is desperate to produce an heir so that his 900 year old family line will continue. He is also a bit mad. He marries Lucrezia de Medici, a very young girl from a family he considers quite beneath him but she comes with a very large dowry. History shows Lucrezia dying a few short years after the marriage and poisoning was suspected.
Ms. Kimm creates a life for Lucrezia, rich in backstory and told with attention to detail. The main plot involving Lucrezia, her relationship with Alfonse and the painting of a large fresco in the castello was intriguing and page turning. The subplot involving a young pregnant woman was too contrived for me. It seemed to be inserted as a means to the ending. In spite of this I did, overall enjoy this book. I will look forward to Ms. Kimm’s next novel, The Courtesan’s Lover which will include characters from His Last Duchess.
You can purchase His Last Duchess on Sourcebooks
Disclosure: I received a copy of His Last Duchess gratis from Sourcebooks. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.