Roman Murder Mysteryby Derek Parker
Rome, 2 January 1698 The bodies lay side by side on the black and white marble floor before the altar, below Guido Reni's painting of the crucifixion -- the man, 69-year-old Pietro Comparini, on the left, his wife Violante, three years his junior, beside him. Early in the morning they had been carried through the chill air, still clad in bloodstained night-clothes, from their house in the Via Vittoria ... It was said that the Comparini's daughter, Pompilia, only seventeen years old, had been found still alive near the bodies of her parents, and now lay dying in the care of the Augustinian Brothers. Everyone knew that she had recently fled from the house of her husband, Count Guido Franceschini, in Arezzo, and that when he had come to Rome to fetch her back there had been a scandal -- her parents had announced that she was illegitimate, and the husband had branded her an adulteress ...
The trial of Count Guido Franceschini, the head of a noble but impoverished Tuscan family, and his associates for the murder of his beautiful young wife, Pompilia, caused a sensation in seventeenth-century Rome, as arguments swelled and eddied from one side to the other. Some supported the Count's right to murder an adulterous wife; others protested Pompilia's innocence. It was to be some time before the shock and brutality of the murder were forgotten. Then, some 160 years later, the poet Robert Browning came across an account of the trial and, fascinated by its extraordinary circumstances, transformed it into The Ring and the Book. His recounting of the innocence of the young girl captivated a new audience. But was this the true story of Pompilia? Or did she 'deserve' death for her adultery as some certainly believed at the time the tragic events took place? In this new examination of Pompilia's story, using sources unavailable to Browning, Derek Parker unravels a tale of duplicity, treachery and betrayal that has intrigued all who have heard of it for over three hundred years.
- Sutton Publishing
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.26(w) x 8.04(h) x 1.08(d)
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