When 16-year-old Lucrezia de' Medici marries the fifth Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso d'Este, she imagines life with her handsome husband will be idyllic. But little does she know that he is a very complicated man. The marriage is fraught with difficulties from the start, and, as time passes, Lucrezia becomes increasingly alienated. For Alfonso, the pressure mounts as the Vatican threatens to reclaim his title should the couple remain unable to produce an heir. Only his lover Francesca seems able to tame his increasing fury. But Alfonso's growing resentment towards his duchess soon becomes unbearable, and he begins to plot an unthinkable way to escape his problems.
Originally inspired by a Robert Browning poem, His Last Duchess gorgeously brings to life the passions and people of 16th-century Tuscany and Ferrara. It is a story you are unlikely to forget for a long time.
©2010 Gabrielle Kimm (P)2012 Hachette Digital