Sofia Matriani della Tempesta
Lord Lucius Matriani
Lady Lydia bint Rustam (was: Lady Lydia Matriani)
I was born in 1512 in the Most Serene City of Venice to a family who's root go back to the date of the City's founding. I spent my youth in the tutor of all those seemly arts that serve a woman of my birth. Fate is often cruel however and my family's fortune declined. The marriage for which I was promised at birth faded with the gold in my family's coffers.
So at the age of 16, I was offered a choice of being cloistered with the Good Sisters of St. Agnes of the Perpetual Sorrow or walking a road different from the good woman of any City. I entered the ranks of the cortegne honeste and found both freedom and despair. While the freedoms accorded to those in my trade are many, it is not the life I would have chosen given another opportunity. Alas, it is the lot of woman to be ruled by father, brother or husband. I chose to be ruled by none.
There are doors opened to women such as I, doors that are closed the virtuous and wholesome women of the City. My patrons are rich and powerful and It is through their good graces that I live as courtier and poetess. It has been many years anon that I have required the patronage of the powerful. I now live in my villa some miles from the City. My children visit when they are not required by duty to be elsewhere.
I have been fortunate and found a small prosperity with the publication of my meager verses. It is these very verses, as well as enemies gleaned through the years, that brought the Inquisition to my door. Twice I have been entertained by these dreaded men, who find no honor in my profession. But it is my very life that trained me to adapt and both times I was set free with little more than scars to show for my time in their tender care.
Dear friends, how my mind does wander these days and I shall bore you no longer with my life’s telling. Perhaps we can reminisce again, on your next visit, and share a flagon of wine and remember the days of glory when even women who dared to write their own story could still do so.