- Pozzo, Modesta
- (1555-1592)Venetian author, known for her verse romance Canti del Floridoro (1581), the libretto for a cantata performed for the doge of Venice in 1581, and for two verse narra-tives written for religious occasions, but chiefly for her dialogue Il mérito delle donne / The Worth of Women (1600), an imaginary dia-logue among seven women who denounce the subordination and mistreatment of women by men. Pozzo wrote under the pseudonym Moderata Fonte, and her dialogue was published with a preface by two of her own children. She acquired her education by begging her brother to teach her what he had learned in school, and later, by us-ing her guardian's library. Despite her bitter denunciation of marriage as a form of enslavement for women, she herself was married about 1582 to a Venetian, and though most of her works were written be-fore her marriage, her most important work, The Worth of Women, was written while she was married. Pozzo's husband seems to have been sympathetic to her literary aspirations and wrote a preface for one of her religious poems, The Resurrection of Christ (1592). She died at age 37 while giving birth to their fourth child.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.