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The Creation of Eve Paperback – Bargain Price, February 1, 2011
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
If you're looking for a story that's solely about Sofonisba you might be a bit disappointed. She's more of a witness to what's going on around her, rather an active participant in the story. Although Sofinisba led an interesting life herself, it's Elizabeth, Felipe, and the Spanish court that take the stage here, and it's an excellent story, well told. Like another reader here, I was very surprised by, and interested in, the author's treatment of Felipe. I guess I, too, am too use to England-based novels set during this time period, which depict him as a cruel monster. Elizabeth is rather silly, naïve, and pathetic in the way that she behaves, but that doesn't stop the reader from ultimately feeling sympathetic towards her. In the end, the reader realizes that Sofi and Elizabeth are very similar; they're both trapped in positions they didn't choose to be in, unable to make their own decisions about their lives.
I also loved the heavy amount of historical details that are in this book. The author obviously did a lot of research to get her story to feel authentic, and her hard work has paid off here. Everything is described in minute detail, without those details bogging down the natural flow of the story. The author's writing style reminds me a lot of that of Sarah Dunant--both in tone and content.
Even though she leaves Michaelangelo after a dalliance, that may or may not have been sexual, with another student, Sofonisba doesn't learn from the consequences of that act when she moves on to the Spanish Court. Instead, she joins in the young Queen's escapades. Considering how she had suffered over her dalliance in Italy, it seems incongruous that she would jeopardize her position at the Spanish Court. Even so, she becomes famous for her portraits.
Cullen's research seems to have been thorough. Cullen seamlessly works her historical details into her fiction.
This book is a good read. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction will undoubtedly find this an enjoyable read.
There are several plot lines; the marriage (and happiness, unhappiness, treachery or adultry?) between Felipe & Elizabeth; Elizabeth's attempts to adjust to a stultified court life, Michaelangelo & The Inquisition, even a little about Felipe's interest in the new world of America and it's products.
The cool thing is; recently I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA. I had just finished reading this book and as I viewed the impressive collection of art Mrs. Gardner acquired in her lifetime - what do I see on the wall? A painting of Juana of Austria (Felipe II's sister) attributed to Sofonisba Aguisolla! The information card that went with the portrait explained that most of Anguisolla's portraits were unattributed, but art scholars have recently identified many - including the one hanging at the Gardner Museum.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
this author holds true to her style. She is slow to start out her stories and then all at once hits you with a fantastic story that is hard to put down!!Published 7 months ago by Lindsey Stanton
Interesting story of a woman gifted with artistic ability during a man's control over the world of art.Published 10 months ago by Stephanie A Hanson
It helped that I read the author's notes in the back of the book before I delved into the book. Once I knew the history it was based on, I was interested how the author had woven... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Raquel M. Martinez
The book weaves a story of the first renowned female artist of the Renaissance, Sofonisba Anguissola. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Geowonderland
The world building and story in this book is lush and suspenseful. One literally seems to experience the hot sun of Spain, the dark opulence of the Spanish royal court, and the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Sarah L. Gruwell
This was one of those unexpected books that I stumbled upon and ended up being extremely pleasantly surprised! Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jordan
Very well written, it is so nice to read about a court that is not English or French. I have read other works by Lynn Cullen and have thoroughly enjoyed them all.Published on July 15, 2014 by Annonymous
Lynn Cullen's skill of weaving historical facts and suppositions among the royal courts of Europe and the political-religious standards and court intrigues of the time is purely... Read morePublished on July 11, 2014 by floy kaku