Isabella Andreini, Mirtilla

Nicla Riverso (University of Washington)
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Isabella Andreini (1562-1604), who at a young age began a brilliant career as an actress, also sought to introduce herself to the world as a literata. In 1588, at the age of 26, she wrote and published La Mirtilla, a pastoral play in which she adapts and manipulates classical sources by incorporating some of her cultural interests, such as literary theory, music, poetry, drama, Platonic philosophy, classical mythology, and questioni d’amore themes.

In her dedicatory letter to the marchioness Lavinia de la Rovere, Andreini writes: “Io cominciai quasi da scherzo, illustrissima ed eccellentissima Signora, ad attendere agli studi della poesia e di tanto diletto gli trovai, ch’io non ho mai più potuto da sì fatti trattenimenti rimanermi” (“I began almost as a joke, most illustrious

1386 words

Citation: Riverso, Nicla. "Mirtilla". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 December 2018 [, accessed 04 December 2023.]

38884 Mirtilla 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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