Journals Higher Education



Published: 30 November 2020

405 Pages | 2 black and white halftones

9 x 6 inches

ISBN: 9781789622218

Bookseller Code (09)

The Life and Legend of Catterina Vizzani

Sexual identity, science and sensationalism in Eighteenth-Century Italy and England

Clorinda Donato

Voltaire Foundation in association with Liverpool University Press

Oxford University Studies in The Enlightenment

  • The first book on transgendered identity in early modern Italy and England and the scientific and social debates sparked by the case of Catterina Vizzani
  • This volume uses Giovanni Bianchi's rare Italian source text on Catterina Vizzani/Giovanni Bordoni and John Cleland’s 1751 translation-adaptation to chart the distance in perspective over sexual identity in Italy and England, revealing a surprisingly modern, transcultural debate and a model of trans history
  • The science of sex in eighteenth-century Italy and England and the ongoing transhistorical debate over gender identity, fluidity and performativity are the stuff of this timely volume
  • An exciting new perspective on transgender before the advent of the term is explored in this monograph on eighteenth-century Catterina Vizzani/Giovanni Bordoni through the Italian and English narrations of their life and the controversy it set off across early modern Europe
  • The question of transgender performativity and queer lifestyles in Giovanni Bianchi's story of Catterina Vizzani and John Cleland's embellished translation ignites new debates over sexual identity and its politics in early modern Italy and England
  • The desire for Grand Tour sexual adventure in Italy fuelled the antics of the Dilettante Society as well as John Cleland's sensationalized translation of Giovanni Bianchi's 1744 life story about the transgendered Catterina Vizzani as told in this riveting transcultural study of queer lifestyles in the eighteenth century