A Note on the Italian texts used for Secret Sacred Woods

The reader should know that the Italian texts used on this site come from the older complete and partial printed editions checked against Bullock's 1989 essay and 1995 edition of Gambara's poetry.

I have not managed to see the following books:

A typical history for women's texts partly explains why the older standard and partial editions left so many of Gambara's poems unprinted. From 1553 to 1995 the only available poetry in standard "complete" editions of Gambara excluded her erotic poetry. All the poems in Costa are erotic, desperate and pessimistic, and, read together in the context of what is known of her life, suggests she had lovers before and after her marriage. The Gambara family did not want Gambara's love poetry to be known, for the whole tenor of it would belie the conventional image of chaste womanhood, of someone whose life was devoted to her city, to literature and to her sons. The uplifting and patriotic poems were presented first and emphasized. Also featured were those of her poems to Colonna and Bembo and those of Colonna and Bembo to her: this connected her to well-known respected poets, although there's no evidence that Colonna had a close relationship with Gambara. (Their exchange of poems show two very different uncongenial personalities.) The poems printed by Costa and Salza were ignored and mostly unknown. I have gathered together and translated these powerful poems for the first time.

In Tobia Toscana's essay which prefaces her facsimile edition of Sonetti: in morte di Francesco Ferrante d'Avalos marchese di Pescara, Tobana persuasively demonstrates that Bullock wrongly dismisses the textual tradition of Colonna's poetry and substitutes a single copy without sufficient reason and attempts to quell criticism by an intimidating apparatus. Bullock's present edition gives Gambara 67 poems, and I feel he is similarly precipitate in some of his decisions in his edition of Gambara. See my argument on behalf of not simply dismissing those 3 poems from Gambara's column which Bullock has now attributed to Colonna: "On Alan Bullock's attribution of 3 poems to Vittoria Colonna which have been attributed to Veronica Gambara".

Secret Sacred Woods,
Contact Ellen Moody.
Pagemaster: Jim Moody.
Page Last Updated: 24 July 2003