The Trophy Bride's Tale
Prudenza, an innocent convent-educated adolescent, the trophy bride of a silk merchant - subjected to increasing cruelty and harsh treatment at his hands. Even so, she tries to be a good wife within the social constraints of Renaissance Italy.
"The Trophy Bride's Tale" is based on a true case of domestic abuse, murder, and criminal justice in sixteenth-century Florence. Cyrilla Barr's imagination and scholarship combine to illuminate a footnote in history: the story of a young mother convicted of killing her husband.
Using archival documents as the framework of the narrative, and with attention to historic detail, Barr adds life and spirit to the story of Prudenza Cecchi. The tale begins as she is led to the scaffold, choosing to sacrifice her own life to save her children.
Barr's foray into fiction shows that the gender policies of domestic abuse in 1549 are familiar and relevant today. Prudenza's story is both a lament and a testament to love, determination, and personal power.