During the Renaissance, people sought to enjoy their time on earth instead of focusing on the Church’s promise of everlasting life. During this time (five-hundred-years-ago, give or take a hundred years), women experienced growing equality. They were leaders of countries, they served as political envoys and they excelled socially, influencing the great thinkers of the day. So a well-known Renaissance man wrote a letter describing the ideal woman. She was to have an in-depth understanding of the founders of the Church and familiarity with authors of antiquity. She was to be well-versed in music and when she looked into the heavens, she was expected to know what she was looking at astronomically. She was expected to be graceful and a good communicator and of course… a charming hostess.
Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era romance, Blue Violet. Available here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4