Monday, January 12, 2009

Book Giveaway: SIGNORA DA VINCI by Robin Maxwell

Exciting news! I am holding the first-ever book giveaway here on Writing the Renaissance.

The book is Robin Maxwell's seventh novel, SIGNORA DA VINCI, just published by New American Library. The back cover promises an enticing read:

I was fifteen years old in 1452 when I bore a bastard child in the tiny village of Vinci. His name was Leonardo, and he was destined to change the world forever.

I suffered much cruelty as an unmarried mother, and had no recourse when they took my boy away from me. I had no rights, no prospects, no future. Everyone believed I was ruined. But no one knew the secrets of my own childhood, nor could they ever have imagined the dangerous and heretical scheme I would devise to protect and watch over my remarkable son as he grew into manhood. Some might call me a liar, since all I describe would be impossible for a woman of my station. But that is where my design unfolds, and I am finally ready to reveal it.

They call me Caterina. And this is my story.

C.W. Gortner and Michelle Moran, both of whom have been interviewed on this blog, provided blurbs for the book. C.W. calls it "an exquisite gem of a novel," while Michelle claims it is "without a doubt the best historical fiction [she has] read all year."

Once I've had a chance to read the book myself, I will post a review and an interview with Ms. Maxwell. You can visit Robin Maxwell's website for more details about SIGNORA DA VINCI and the author's other novels, many of which deal with Tudor subjects.

In the meantime, I have two copies of SIGNORA DA VINCI to give away. To enter your name in the drawing, please leave a comment to this message by 11 pm EST this Friday night telling me what your favorite Da Vinci work is. Click here to see some of his more famous paintings. I will draw two names and post the results by noon on Saturday, January 17. If I draw your name, I will ask you to contact me by email with your snail mail address. Good luck!

29 comments:

cindy said...

yay book giveaway! i'm excited! and thanks for the link, too. i'm not a big art buff, alas. my favorite would be the lady with the ermine portrait. i saw mona lisa in person and was a bit underwhelmed? maybe it was the hype of it? the book sounds fascinating. thanks, julianne!

Amanda said...

Being a scientist myself, I would have to nominate his scientific manuscripts (codex) as my favourite. There was an exhibition of them in Sydney a few years ago, and the things that man was interested in were so diverse! And the mirror writing he used in his notes......the man was a genius!

Carine said...

Hi, thanks for the book giveaway ! I think my favourite work of Da Vinci must be The Last Supper.
Carine
carine[underscore]devos[at]hotmail[dot]com

Lucinda Byatt said...

Hi Julianne, I'm thrilled to have discovered this book. I've done research on this period and love it. It's hard to choose a favourite painting, there are so many, including his marvellous self-portrait as an old man, but I think my no.1 choice is La belle ferronniere (in the Louvre).
Thanks for this great post.

Rich Ware said...

Virgin and Child with the Infant John the Baptist and St. Anne is my favorite drawing, St. Jerome in the Wilderness is my favorite of his unfinished works, but if it's finished work that it must be, then it could only be The Virgin of the Rocks. Although, I do love the Madonna with the Yarnwinder and the girl in The Benois Madonna.

I'm InarticulateBabbler on AW.

Jessica said...

I love Robin Maxwell's books and didn't know this was coming out. It sounds fantastic! I'm looking forward to reading your review.

I've always liked Adoration of the Magi. There's a lot going on in that painting.

Linda said...

Julianne, thanks for the giveaway and for the link. Sadly, I don't know much about art and could only name 2 paintings by da Vinci: The Last Supper and Mona Lisa, so I really enjoyed the link you provided. After looking at the other images, I would have to say I particularly like the Benois Madonna.

Ms. I said...

I'm really looking forward to this novel. I loved Maxwell's last novel.

Dee said...

Hi Julianne,
Great website! I like the Da Vinci drawings of his thoughts on flight because it shows the vast expanse of his imagination. I was lucky enough to visit the Da Vinci museum in Italy a few years ago where they had models of some of them. Amazing!
(I'm Melia on AW)

ChristaCarol said...

Hey Julianne :) The book sounds amazing! I've always been intrigued by Da Vinci, especially all of his drawings. As for the paintings, I have to say The Last Supper. Though it's a tough pick because all of them are just so beautiful. Have a great week!

Amanda said...

Oh I've been hearing about this book and would love to win it. I think my favorite have to be his sketches. For some reason I love them more than the paintings. The way he depicts so much depth and character in a person's face in a sketch is amazing. My favorite painting would be The Virgin of the Rocks.

mindy said...

i might be boring but it is the mona lisa thanks for the giveaway

taterbug said...

This book sounds amazing. My favorite work would have to be The Last Supper. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity!

Anya said...

All of his work is great, but I'd say The Last Supper. Thanks.

Vivian Deliz said...

My favorite is The Last Supper, but I admire all the architectural and engineering work he did. Thanks for the giveaway.

Angela K. Nickerson said...

What fun! I love The Annunciation. But I think the Adoration of the Magi is fascinating. The Uffizi had an incredible exhibit a few years about about the layers of sketches and paint beneath what we now know was the Adoration. It was amazing!

divaqueenie said...

The Mona Lisa, for sure! I cried when I saw it in person at the Louvre! It's hauntingly beautiful!

Anonymous said...

The Mona Lisa - I've seen it in the Louvre, too!

Thanks, Vanessa

Helen Davis said...

Count me in, definitely!

Marie said...

I love the Adoration of the Magi but also the Mona Lisa, of course.

vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

traymona said...

Portrait of a Lady - La Belle Ferronnière. I don't know much about art but I know what I like. The book sounds fascinating.
traymona[at]aol.com

malleycc said...

The book sounds interesting. My fav work is the Last Supper.

bohemiangypsy said...

I would have to say the painting of the Madonna of the Yarnwinder and his drawing of Mary Magdalene. Thank you for the giveaway.

Kaye said...

How could anyone not love the Mona Lisa. I also like The madonna with the carnation. Congrats on your first contest. Great job! florida982002[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Madonna with Child - Benois Madonna!!! I had no idea his mother had such a heart wrenching story behind her!!!! I wants to read it!!!!!!!
always ;-)
Renee

The Tome Traveller said...

All of Da Vinci's work is wonderful but my favorite is The Last Supper.

Thanks so mucy for the fantastic giveaway. I've read all of Robin Maxwell's previous books and am so looking forward to this one! I reviewed both Michelle Moran & C.W. Gortner's books on my blog in 2008, they were both favorites, so their endorsments are a bonus!

Carey

Lynn Spencer said...

Hi! This book sounds like it could be good one. My favorite painting is probably the Virgin of the Rocks. I remember studying it in an art history class, and I found the analysis of it fascinating.

Laura L. said...

Just discovered your blog. Virgin of the Rocks is definitely one of my favorites!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

I will always love Lady with the Ermine...such an unusual animal to be holding!

Thanks for the great giveaway!