Today I am featuring my current audiobook, Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel. It begins with a letter from Galileo’s oldest daughter, born of his affair with Marina Gamba of Venice. In the letter, she offers her condolences for the death of his sister (her aunt). The letter is dated the 10th of May, 1623, and written from her convent in San Matteo.
“Most Illustrious Lord Father
We are terribly saddened by the death of your cherished sister, our dear aunt; but our sorrow at losing her is as nothing compared to our concern for your sake, because your suffering will be all the greater, Sire, as truly you have no one else left in your world, now that she, who could not have been more precious to you, has departed, and therefore we can only imagine how you sustain the severity of such a sudden and completely unexpected blow.“
This is the first of 124 letters from their correspondence. Her name was Virginia, and she adopted the name Maria Celeste when she became a nun, “in a gesture that acknowledged her father’s fascination with the stars.”
“She alone of Galileo’s three children mirrored his own brilliance, industry, and sensibility, and by virtue of these qualities became his confidante.“
|The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice
Book Blogger Hop has a new question every Friday. This is my first time answering one.