Donata Mocenigo is a coming of age female ahead of her time. She leads a priviledged life in 16th Century Venice in which women like her live only for marriage, children and appearance.
She has bright propects, for a women, but Donata is unhappy. She would love nothing more than to throw off the constraints of her gender-biased society.
In Donata's world, women have very little access to education, even in the noble classes, but she craves this more than anything. Her father and brothers are sympathetic but have the family's interest in the fore-front of their minds, and her mother does not at all understand Donata's needs.
Donata's story is interweaved with contrasting and fascinating descriptions of the wider world around her. The wealthy nobility with beautiful buildings, art and politics, and the bleak, repressed but, in some ways, free life of the poor.
Faced with an impending possible marriage and the end of any chance for further learning, Donata hatches a plan to escape her world. She bravely denies class and gender to lead a double life and discover experiences that no young women of her time have access to.
This report prepared by Louisa Bayer