The Devil And Maria D'avalos
By Victoria Hammond
Steeped in the overripe beauty, violence and exoticism of sixteenth century Naples, this is the riveting story behind one of the most famous and terrible murders in the history of the Renaissance. In 1590, the great and tormented composer Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, murdered his beautiful wife Maria d'Avalos and her aristocratic lover. Gesualdo was a character of Shakespearian proportions: nobleman, musical genius and, for the last sixteen years of his life, madman-or so it is alleged. With the chilling calculation of a hunter, he staged the violent and bloody murder of the lovers like an opera. Yet far from ending his torment, in the years that followed Gesualdo became increasingly persecuted by his furies and demons. Inspired by this story that has haunted generations of Neapolitans and ignited the imaginations of artists the world over, Victoria Hammond has written a lush and sensual evocation of love, desire and madness, vividly imagining the life of the mysterious and seductive Maria, her tormented marriage to Carlo, and her affair with Fabrizio Carafa, the handsomest and accomplished nobleman in Naples.