17 Dec 2008 What am I writing?Writing | Elizabeth Loupas
Earlier this year I finished a novel based on Robert Browning’s 19th-century narrative poem “My Last Duchess.” It’s mostly based on real history, but the history is intertwined with Browning’s fictionalization and some of my own what-ifs.
It’s told in the first person by Barbara of Austria, the Duke’s second wife. Also starring are the Duke himself, Alfonso II d’Este, the fifth Duke of Ferrara, the polished and manipulative narrator of Browning’s poem; and in a parallel narrative the murdered first Duchess—beautiful Lucrezia de’ Medici, hardly more than a child, willful, sensual, and vengeful.
It’s my baby, my preciousssss—and I love the setting and the characters so much I can’t bear to give them up. What did they do next? The summer of 1566 simmered with intrigue in Ferrara…