A Venetian Affair

Front Cover
Knopf, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 313 pages
9 Reviews
" Some years ago, my father came home with a carton of old letters that time and humidity had compacted into wads of barely legible paper, " Andrea di Robilant tells us as he begins this spellbinding true story of love in eighteenth-century Venice. In the attic of their old family palazzo on the Grand Canal, his father had found the love letters of their ancestor Andrea Memmo, one of the last great Venetian statesmen, to a beautiful half-English girl named Giustiniana Wynne. Some of the letters were written in code, which di Robilant and his father cracked to reveal an illicit passion: Giustiniana was not of the elite ruling class and would never have been considered a suitable match for Andrea. But their acts of devotion were startlingly brazen. As their courtship unfolds, they plot elaborate marriage schemes that offend everyone, arrange secret trysts in borrowed rooms, cause trouble for the servants who must ferry their forbidden correspondence, and even weather an unwanted pregnancy, from which Giustiniana, with her wits and ingenuity and some crucial assistance from the infamous Casanova, emerges unscathed.
Andrea di Robilant, heir to the lovers' legacy, captures them in the twilight of the golden era of Venice, with forays to the colorful social circles of London and Paris along the way. His sparkling, well-paced narrative evokes the world of mask-wearing men and ladies attending Goldoni plays and gambling at the Ridotto-- bringing to life, 250 years later, a tale of unbounded passion and rich historical intrigue.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century

User Review  - Nikki - Goodreads

I loved that this book was the retelling of an Italian love story (circa 1750's) told from love letters recovered from the attic of a Venetian palazzo. Read full review

Review: A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century

User Review  - Alina Trigger - Goodreads

A noin-fiction that reads like a 'bodice-ripper romance. An interesting comment on the lives of Venetians in the late 18th century. Read full review

All 8 reviews »


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Andrea di Robilant was born in Italy and educated at Le Rosey and Columbia University, where he specialized in international affairs. He currently lives in Rome with his wife and two children and works as a correspondent for the Italian newspaper La Stampa. This is his first book.

Bibliographic information