Who is the real woman who looks out at us from Mantegnas masterful painting, The Gonzaga Family? In this prize-winning international bestseller, Marie Ferranti takes us through the backdoor of everyday 15th-century life into a world populated by some of the greatest figures and artists of the age. It is 1433, and the 10-year-old Barbara von Brandenburg leaves her native Germany to marry the Prince of Mantua, Ludovico Gonzaga. When her husband leaves for war immediately after, she finds herself at the center of one of the most refined courts in Europe, and when, seven years later, Ludovico returns victorious from his campaigns, she has to live with him through the most difficult trialsillnesses, mourning, and the curse of heredity: all Gonzaga women are born hunchbacked. Based on a series of letters between Barbara and her cousin Maria, The Princess of Mantua is an example of docu-fiction at its most exquisite. French novelist Marie Ferrantis most recent work is The Night Hunt.