In the 1530s, five Bassano brothers, who were outstanding wind players and instrument makers, emigrated from Venice to England. Dr Lasocki's authoritative new book, the first to be devoted to the family, is a minutely researched account of these brothers, their sons (and a daughter) and their grandsons. The first half of the book discusses the everyday affairs of the family - their relationships, religion, property, law suits, finances, and standing in society. Two chapters, one written by Roger Prior, are devoted to Emilia Bassano, whose identification as the 'dark lady' of Shakespeare's sonnets is supported by a wealth of evidence. The second half of the book discusses the family's musical activities. At the English Court the Bassanos made up a recorder consort that lasted 90 years; they also played in the flute/cornett and shawm/sackbut consorts. As instrument makers their fame extended throughout Europe. The book's appendices present information on the Venetian branch of the family and the musical activities of the English branch since 1665.
Recounts the lives and fortunes of the five Bassano brothers, outstanding wind players and instrument makers who migrated from Venice to England in the 1530s, and their children and grandchildren who comprised a recorder consort at the royal court for 90 years, and spread their fame as instrument makers throughout Europe. Describes their relationships, religion, property, law suits, finances, and standing in society. Roger Prior (English, Queens University, Belfast) assembles the considerable evidence that Emilia Bassano was the dark lady of Shakespeare's sonnets. Distributed in the US by Ashgate. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)