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In the Company of the Courtesan

In the Company of the Courtesan

Author(s): Sarah Dunant

Location(s): Venice

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): 16th Century



1527. While the Papal city of Rome burns – brutally sacked by an invading army including Protestant heretics – two of her most interesting and wily citizens slip away, their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed as the enemy breaks down their doors. Though almost as damaged as their beloved city, Fiammetta Bianchini and Bucino Teodoldi – a fabulous courtesan and her dwarf companion – are already planning their future. They head for the shimmering beauty of Venice, a honey pot of wealth and trade where they start to rebuild their business. As a partnership they are invincible: Bucino, clever with a sharp eye and a wicked tongue and Fiammetta, beautiful and shrewd, trained from birth to charm, entertain and satisfy men who have the money to support her. Venice, however, is a city which holds its own temptations. From the admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his Sultan’s court, to the searing passion of a young lover who wants more than his allotted nights. But the greatest challenge comes from a young blind woman, a purveyor of health and beauty, who insinuates her way into their lives with devastating consequences for them all.

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Book Reviews

Lead Review

A real key to this book being is seeing life through the dwarf Bucino, his intelligence and charm really bring the reader into the story through his unique perspective. How Fiammetta finds her way...

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Great book! I read it so quickly!

Author: Charl

What a great read!! This book is full of amazing descriptions of Venice and the characters are some of the best I’ve ever read. Can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone visiting Venice or...

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Really nitty gritty Venice in the 1500s

Loved this book unreservedly. I was drawn in so much that I didn’t do much else until I finished it.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021