Pozzo, Modesta

   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. . 2004.

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