Veronica Franco (1546–1591) was an Italian poet and courtesan in 16th century Venice.The daughter of another cortigiana onesta, Franco learned the art at a young age from her mother and was trained to use her natural assets and abilities to achieve a financially beneficial marriage. While still in her teens, Franco married a wealthy physician, but the union ended badly. In order to support herself, Franco turned to serving as a cortigiana to wealthy men. She quickly rose through the ranks to consort with some of the leading notables of her day and even had a brief liaison with Henry III, King of France.
A well-educated woman, Veronica Franco wrote two volumes of poetry: Terze rime in 1575 and Lettere familiari a diversi in 1580. She published books of letters and collected the works of other leading writers into anthologies. Successful in her two lines of work, Franco also founded a charity for courtesans and their children.
“When we too are armed and trained, we can convince men that we have hands, feet, and a heart like yours; and although we may be delicate and soft, some men who are delicate are also strong; and others, coarse and harsh, are cowards. Women have not yet realized this, for if they should decide to do so, they would be able to fight you until death; and to prove that I speak the truth, amongst so many women, I will be the first to act, setting an example for them to follow.”—Veronica Franco
Quotes“I’m just a person trapped inside a woman’s body”. Elaine Boosler“Women belong in the house… and the Senate”. Unknown“Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat, and that if we venture out, we will fall off the edge”. Unknown“Man endures pain as an undeserved punishment; woman accepts it as a natural heritage”. Unknown“Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths”. Lois Wyse“Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their opressors”. Evelyn Cunningham