Item description for Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 (Penguin Classics) by Suor Maria Celeste & Dava Sobel...
Overview From the bestselling author of "Galileo's Daughter" comes a book of the actual letters that inspired that story. The letters span a dramatic decade and reveal an exceptional woman who also was an intelligent, pious, and literary nun.
Placed in a convent at the age of thirteen, Virginia Galilei, Galileo's eldest daughter, wrote to her father continually. Now Dava Sobel has translated into English all 124 surviving letters that Virginia (renamed Suor Maria Celeste at the convent) wrote to Galileo. The letters span a dramatic decade that included the Thirty Years' War, the bubonic plague, and the development of Galileo's own universe-changing discoveries. Suor Maria Celeste's letters touch on these events, but mostly they focus on details of everyday life that connect her and her father: descriptions of confections she sent to him; news of his estate, which she managed while he was on trial; a request for Galileo to fix the convent clock. Her prose reveals an exceptional woman and presents a memorable portrait of deep affection between a father and daughter.
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Studio: Penguin Classics
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.77" Width: 5.05" Height: 0.52" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Dec 31, 2002
Publisher Penguin Classics
Series Penguin Classics
ISBN 0142437158 ISBN13 9780142437155 UPC 051488013006
Availability 0 units.
More About Suor Maria Celeste & Dava Sobel
Dava Sobel is an award-winning former science writer for The New York Times. The author of the bestselling Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel's work has also appeared in Audubon, Discover, Life, and The New Yorker.
Reviews - What do customers think about Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 (Penguin Classics)?
Beautiful Glimpse of Everyday Holiness Nov 15, 2007
Beautiful, well written glimpses into Galileo's daughter's life in the convent, her relationship with her father, his scientific work, and interactions with the Church. Easy, engaging, and rich read.
A Loving Daughter's Relationship with her Illustrious Father Jul 11, 2005
Virginia Galilei entered the Convent of San Mateo near Florence at the age of thirteen, taking the name Maria Celeste. From then on Suor Maria rarely saw her father, though she wrote to him nearly every day. Although the letters Galileo wrote to his daughter do not survive, he kept the letters he received from Suor Maria, hence this volume. "Letters to Father" is a collection of 124 of her letters spanning the years 1623 to 1633, translated into English by best-selling author Dava Sobel ("Galileo's Daughter") and printed alongside the original Italian.
The period in history during which Suor Maria wrote these letters witnessed the occurence of such events as The Thirty Years War, the outbreak of the Black Plague, the election of a new Pope and, last but certainly not least, the arrest and trial of Galileo for heresy. Suor Maria, though cloistered in a convent, exhibits considerable knowledge of current events of the day through her commentary contained in her letters.
Sour Maria's letters also illustrate the loving relationship she shared with her father (apparently Galileo had a great love for candied fruits, which Suor Maria cheerfully made for him), as well as details of her day to day management of his estate while he was being held by church authorities, such as maintenance of the house, decanting casks of wine in the cellar (lower quality wine was given to the servants, who presumably wouldn't know better), etc.
Suor Maria's letters provide insights into Galileo's private life as well as the important events of the day. In reading these letters I felt as though I were getting to know Suor Maria, and I found the experience to be fascinating and sometimes moving.
Sadly, Suor Maria fell ill and died shortly after the last letter reprinted in "Letters to Father". Her letters are a fitting memorial to her life and her love for her father.