Ada Lovelace Day ~ Featuring Arcangela Tarabotti

It's Ada Lovelace Day! Today, many of us around the net, raise our teacups in honor of women in science, technology, engineering, and math. Those of you who don't know about Ada Lovelace I encourage you to take a look at her life and times.

Traditionally, those of us participating are supposed to blog about women in science.


However, in keeping with my interests as a writer, this blog post is about a historical woman who, while not being a scientist, acted against a preposterous scientific statement during the 1600s.

A pamphlet made its way to Italy in 1647 entitled Women do not have a soul and do not belong to the human race, as is shown by many passages of Holy Scripture. It gained some popularity until, in 1651 Arcangela (or Archangela) Tarabotti wrote A Defense of Women refuting its claims. Her stance eventually resulted in the Catholic Church rejecting the idea that women had no souls.

Arcangela Tarabotti wrote many essays defending women. She campaigned for a woman's right to choose her own destiny, criticized the lack of education for women, and vilified paternal tyranny, marriage, and monastic life.

Guinevere as a nun.
"Sharp-witted and sharp-tongued, Arcangela Tarabotti (1604-52) yearned to be formally educated and enjoy an independent life in Venetian literary circles. But instead, at sixteen, her father forced her into a Benedictine convent. To protest her confinement, Tarabotti composed polemical works exposing the many injustices perpetrated against women of her day."

Arcangela Tarabotti's Paternal Tyranny (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe) is available in ebook for c. $15 or in paperback in the $25 range. I'm not going to lie, it's a tough read in translation (probably in the original, too) she is, after all a Renaissance woman. There is also a biography (?) of her by Elissa B. Weaver called Arcangela Tarabotti - A Literary Nun in Baroque Venice which I have been trying to get hold of for a while now without success.

360 years later, a feminist nun gets her due

Arcangela Tarabotti died of consumption at the age of 48 (in 1652).

I chose the last name Tarabotti for my main character in the Parasol Protectorate series because I encountered Archangela as I was doing research into the scientific defense of the soul. I instantly fell in love with her. Not much is known about her, particularly outside of Italy. Even in theological circles she is mainly a footnote. I hope, that by blogging about her here, her memory will live on.

Blogger's Scientific Credentials:
I happen to have a MS (called a MSc in England) in archaeological materials, which means I specialized in the laboratory analysis of ancient lithic, ceramic, glass, or metal artifacts. My particular expertise is glazed pottery fragments. I've worked with the XRD, SEM with EDX attachment, and ICP-MS (acid D). I've worked in a field laboratory in Italy, and one in Peru, two museums, and labs at universities in the Midwest, West Coast, and England. I' fortunate to have never encountered any problems being female in these environments. I've had both men and women as colleagues and superiors. I'm not saying there isn't a glass ceiling in academia, just that I never encountered it myself.


Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Parasol Pin gift from a reader.

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Lionello Balestrieri, Woman on a Paris Street at NIght 1924

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
via indypendenthistory tumblr: The Stereoscope as educator, 1900

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
A Book By Its Cover: What Is the Book Cover’s Place in the 21st Century?

Waistcoats & Weaponry ~ The Finishing School Book the Third: Almost done!
Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Release date Nov. 5, 2013.  
Etiquette & Espionage
~ trade paperback will be available in the US October 13, 2013

~ Soulless Vol. 3: (AKA Blameless) Available serialized through YenPlus. Print edition Nov. 19 2013.  
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Delayed. Why? Begin rewrite in 2014.

The Books!

The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series
Please DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!
Boxed set of all five!

The Parasol Protectorate omnibus hardback editions
Volume 1 (Books 1-3), Volume 2 (Books 4-5)
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
Soulless Vol. 1, Soulless Vol. 2 (book 2), Soulless Vol. 3 (book 3)
The Finishing School Series: Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies (Nov. 5, 2013)
 $0.99 ebook only short stories: Marine Biology, My Sister's Song, and Fairy Debt

Crudrat Kickstarter going on October 1 ~ 31, 2013

Book News:
Malena Lott has lovely things to say on "Carriger knows how to world-build and suck us in to this delightful tale of a co-mingling proper society where things like the full moon and daylight matter, but only as much as serving delicious tarts at your party."

Quote of the Day:
"Book are like cats, the right one comes along when you need it."
~ Self

quotes Gail likes

Goodreads Quotes

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