OverviewBetween c1350 and c1650, Italian urban societies saw much debate on women's nature, roles, education, and behaviour. This book fills a gap in the still burgeoning literature on all aspects of women's lives in this period. Using a broad range of material, most of which never translated before, this book illuminates the ideals and realities informing the lives of women within the context of civic and courtly culture in Renaissance Italy. The text is divided into three sections: contemporary views on the nature of women, and ethical and aesthetic ideals seen as suitable to them; life cycles from birth to death, punctuated by the rites of passage of betrothal, marriage and widowhood; women's roles in the convent, the court, the workplace, and in cultural life.Through their exploration of these themes, Mary Rogers and Paola Tinagli demonstrate that there was no single 'Renaissance woman'. The realities of women's experiences were rich and various, and their voices speak of diverse possibilities for emotionally rich and socially useful lives.