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1499. Children are disappearing in Venice. Rumor has it a demon is to blame, but no one knows for sure. Beatrice de la Pietà, an orphan on the brink of a new life, cannot be bothered with such stories though. Meeting the expectations of her new employer, Cassandra Fedele, is all she cares about, and she'll do anything to hold onto her new apprenticeship as a cook and maid in her household. Demons and missing children will have to wait.

When Signora Fedele's requirements of Bea take a sharp turn from domestic work to more academic pursuits however, the orphan begins to fear one day she may let the famed scholar down. Matters only become more complicated when Bea meets a girl obsessed with stopping the demon she was so determined to forget. Prompted by her new friend's dedication to justice, and bolstered by the humanistic education she never bargained on receiving, Beatrice reluctantly dives into the danger and daring that flow through the heart of her watery world. 

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Helpful 1500 Images and Complete-ish Bibliography

Beatrice's Venice

Bellini's painting from the chapter, The Allegory


Nerone card from the chapter, The Party


Symbols from the chapter, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili 

Complete-ish Bibliography


Robin, Diana, editor and translator. Cassandra Fedele, Letters and Orations. University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Gamba, Bartolommeo. Alcuni Ritratti di Donne Illustri. Alvisipoli, 1826.

Petrettine, Maria. Vita di Cassandra Fedele. Stamperia Finelli, 1814.

Marzo Magno, Alessandro. La Splendida Venezia. Editori Laterza, 2019

Tassini, Giuseppe. Curiosità Veneziana, Volume 1&2. Franco Filippi Editori, 2007

Gasparotto, Davide, editor. Giovanni Bellini, Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2017.

Bergreen, Laurence. Marco Polo, From Venice to Xanadu. Quercus, 2007.

Madden, Thomas F. Venice: A New History. Viking, 2012.

Greenblatt, Stephen. The Swerve, How the World Became Modern. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2011.


Beltramini, Guido and Davide Gasparotto, curators. Aldo Manuzio, Renaissance in Venice(catalog). Marsilio Editori, 2016.

Bullo, Saida with the collaboration of Donatella Benazzi, catalog curators. Aldine Marciane(digital catalog). Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, 2015.

Wilson, Katharina, editor. An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers. Garland Publishing, Inc., 1999.

Davis, Robert C. Shipbuilders of the Venetian Arsenal. John Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Jones, Federick.  Virgil's Garden, The Nature of Bucolic Space.  Bloomsbury Academic, 2013.(reprint).

Wills, Gary.  Venice: Lion City, The Religion of Empire.  Washington Square Press, 2002(reprint).

Tassini, Giuseppe. Alcune Delle Più Clamorose Condanne Capitali Eseguite in Venezia Sotto Ls Repubblica. Cecchini, Gio., 1866. (Digital book available at



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