EVELINA: A Victorian Heroine in Venice - Judith Harris's book presentation
Join us on Thursday 12 October at 5 p.m. for the presentation of Evelina: A Victorian Heroine , Judith Harris’s celebrated biography of cosmopolitan socialite Evelina van Millingen Pisani.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org/ 06 678 42 35
Judith Harris is a Rome-based writer and lecturer from Ohio, USA. After working three years as a reporter for the Cleveland Press, she entered the U.S. Information Agency under the legendary Edward R. Murrow and, following six months in Washington, D.C., was sent to Rome, where she attained the rank of Attaché of Embassy in the cultural division. At the time women officers in the U.S. diplomatic service could not be married, by law, and so after five years she resigned to marry and raise two children. As a freelance journalist, she contributed regularly to, among others, the London Evening News, Reuters news agency, Time magazine, and the Wall Street Journal. She has worked on special assignments for the London Observer, the New York Times, NBC TV and BBC TV, and for RAI radio she conducted a regular program on Italian culture for twenty-five years.
Evelina van Millingen Pisani was a modern woman in the age of Queen Victoria. She was born in Constantinople in 1831 to an eccentric French mother and an English father, who was a doctor accused of having murdered Lord Byron. Educated in Papal Rome until the age of eighteen, she was whisked back to Constantinople by her father, now working for the sultan. While visiting Venice, this striking beauty of twenty-two met and married the wealthy Count Pisani. Evelina became an exotic star in the firmament of wealthy American and English socialites, artists, and writers, for whom the artistic decadence of Venice was an antidote to the factories, materialism, and homophobic laws they saw at home. In her circle of friends were Isabella Stewart Gardner and an admiring Henry James. When her husband died after twenty-seven years of marriage, the grieving countess unexpectedly found herself saddled with his mortgage debts. Inheriting the vast but rundown Pisani estate in the misty flatlands near Padua, Evelina took full charge. Becoming a hands-on farmer, she restored swampland, built an English garden, and created a model farm for hundreds of tenant farmers. Through it all, she remained a pillar in the admiring Venetian set.
€5.00/ Advance booking not necessary but recommended