Della dignità, & nobiltà delle donne. Dialogo di Cristofano Bronzini d'Ancona. Diviso in Quattro Settimane; e ciascheduna di esse in Sei Giornate. 3 volumes: I. Settimana prima, e giornata prima [-terza]. Firenze, Nella stamperia di Zanobi Pignoni, 1624 (at the end: 1622). II. Settimana prima e giornata quarta [-sesta]. Firenze, Nella stamperia di Zanobi Pignoni, 1625. III. Della dignità, e nobiltà delle donne Dialogo di Christofano Bronzini d'Ancona. Settimana seconda, e giornata ottava. Alle ss. spose novelle. Firenze, Nella stamperia di Simone Ciotti, 1628.

Autore: BRONZINI, Cristoforo (d. 1640)

Tipografo: Zanobi Pignoni - Simone Ciotti.

Dati tipografici: Firenze,   1624 - 1628

Formato: in quarto

Three volumes, 4to (I: 218x156 mm; II: 215x154 mm; III: 220x151 mm). (8), 142, (2), 130, (2), 126, (6) pp. + (2), 143, (1), 143, (1 blank), 130, (22) pp. + (12), 216, (8) pp. Volume 1 is known in two different issues, our copy combines the two issues. On the front fly-leaf of the vol. 3 is a full-page drawing showing an emblem with the initial ‘PLC'; below is the ownership's inscription ‘Hodie me possidet Sanctes de Tottis'. Bindings in contemporary flexible vellum (a bit stained). Some browning and foxing, dampstains, a few wormholes at the end of vol. 3 involving the back panel and the endleaves, but not affecting the text, the front cover of vol. 3 has slightly shrank, front endleaves of vol. 1 renewed, otherwise a good, genuine copy.

RARE FIRST EDITIONS. Bronzini was made cardinal by Pope Paul V in 1615. He then moved to Florence, where he conceived the idea of writing an ambitious work in praise of women. Della dignità et nobiltà delle donne should have originally comprised 24 parts (4 weeks of 6 days each), but the project was never completed. The first six days of the first week were written in 1618 and published between 1622 and 1625, while the first two days of the second week were printed respectively in 1628 and in 1632. Although already approved by the ecclesiastical authorities, the first book was condemned in 1622 “donec corrigatur” (cf. Index librorum prohibitorum, Rome, 1664, p. 38). It is presumable that the condemnation refers to a previous edition, now lost, or that the edition was corrected while still under the press.

The work is written in the form of a dialogue. The scene is set in the Medici's garden in Rome during a hot summer. The interlocutors are six: three women, outstanding for their beauty, virtue and nobility (Margherita from Rome; Vittoria from Mantua; Leonora from Florence) and three men (the Prince of Tuscany; Tolomei from Ferrara, an opponent of women; Onorio, i.e. the author himself as defender of women) (cf. M. Capucci, Bronzini, Cristoforo, in:“Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani”, col. 14, 1972, pp. 463-64).

All parts of Bronzini's work are very rare. We are able to offer here the first three volumes. The fourth one, Della virtù e valore delle donne illustri dialogo di Christofano Bronzini d'Ancona. Diviso in quattro settimane; e ciascheduna di esse in sei giornate. settimana seconda, giornata settima, was issued in 1632 by Zanobi Pignoni.

Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Italian Books in the British Library, London, 1988, p. 155; G. B. Passano, I novellieri italiani in prosa, Turin, 1878, I, pp. 151-53; Catalogo della Libreria Capponi, Rome, 1747, p. 85.