Isabella Andreini: Mirtilla, A Pastoral. A Bilingual Edition.

The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series, Vol. 62

Isabella Andreini: Mirtilla, A Pastoral. A Bilingual Edition.

Edited by Valeria Finucci
Translated by Julia Kisacky
2018 | 978-0-86698-588-8 | Paperback 6 x 9 in
MRTS 531 | $49.95 |

OVEME v. 62. Isabella Andreini was the most famous actress of the Italian Renaissance, the darling of dukes and kings, as well as of less-moneyed theatergoers. As a founding member with her husband, Francesco, of the Compagnia dei Gelosi, she performed ceaselessly throughout Italy and France, and was prized for the new role she invented for women on stage, that of the ingénue with a comic bent. She was also a playwright; in fact, the first woman to publish a pastoral. This modern edition and translation subtly captures the novelty, as well as the imaginative pyrotechnics, of a brilliant, self-made virtuosa of the stage.


In their annotated edition and translation of Isabella Andreini’s La Mirtilla, Valeria Finucci and Julia Kisacky give expert and much-deserved attention to a watershed text — one of the first two early modern plays, along with Maddalena Campiglia’s Flori, authored by a woman in Italy. Finucci’s introduction adroitly guides readers through Andreini’s fascinating life as a poet, performer, wife, dramatist, and international celebrity. Kisacky’s nuanced translation allows English-language readers to find equal enjoyment in Andreini’s comic and pastoral modes. The result puts a fresh face on a now-canonical play that will be accessible to undergraduates approaching the text for the first time, while allowing scholars of early modern theater and women’s writing to find a renewed appreciation for Andreini and her work.
—Sara E. Díaz
Assistant Professor of the Practice of Italian, Fairfield University