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Gambara, Veronica (1485–1550)

Gambara, Veronica (1485–1550)

Italian poet. Name variations: Veronica of Correggio. Born in 1485 in Pratalbiono, Italy; died in 1550 in Correggio, Italy; married Gilberto X of Correggio, in 1509 (died 1518); children: two sons.

Veronica Gambara was an Italian noblewoman and poet. She was born into the wealthy Gambara family of Pratalbiono, near Brescia. At age 24, she married Lord Gilberto X of Correggio, ruler of that small city-state. He died in 1518 and left Veronica with two young children and the burden of rule. She soon proved herself a competent leader, managing the administrative tasks required with skill. She even acted as military leader, fending off at least one invading army.

As a widow, Veronica also became a great patron of the artists and writers of the early Italian Renaissance, including the poets Pietro Bembo and Bernardo Tasso. Veronica herself composed poems, several of which are extant. She also was a busy correspondent, and many of her personal and business letters have survived. Her generosity and literary interests gained her many friends and admirers, including the powerful Holy Roman emperor Charles V. She died about age 65.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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