Friday, January 19, 2024

Eleonora and Joseph: Passion, Tragedy, and Revolution in the Age of Enlightenment by Julieta Almeida Rodrigues #AwardWinning #HistoricalFiction #RecommendedReads

Eleonora and Joseph

Passion, Tragedy, and Revolution in the Age of Enlightenment

by Julieta Almeida Rodrigues

As the novel opens, aristocratic Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel pleads with the High Court of Naples to be beheaded instead of hanged like a criminal. One of the leading revolutionaries of her time, Eleonora contributed to the establishment of the Neapolitan Republic, based on the ideals of the French Revolution. Imprisoned in 1799 after the return of the Bourbon Monarchy - due to her work as editor-in-chief of Il Monitore Napoletano - and while waiting to be sentenced, she writes a memoir. Here, she discusses not only her revolutionary enthusiasm, but also the adolescent lover who abandoned her, Joseph Correia da Serra.

While visiting Monticello many years later, Joseph discovers Eleonora's manuscript in Thomas Jefferson's library. Now retired, Jefferson is committed to founding the University of Virginia and entices Correia with a position in the institution, once it opens. As the two philosophes explore Eleonora's writing through the lens of their own lives, achievements, and follies, they share many intimate secrets.

Told from Eleonora and Joseph's alternating points of view, the interwoven first-person narratives follow the characters from the elegant salons of Naples to the halls of Monticello, from the streets of European capitals such as Lisbon, London, and Paris to the cultured new world of Philadelphia and the chic soirées in Washington.

Eleonora and Joseph were both prominent figures of the Southern European Enlightenment. Together with Thomas Jefferson, they formed part of The Republic of Letters, a formidable network of thinkers who radically influenced the intellectual world in which they lived - and which we still inhabit today.


"Rodrigues' writing is beautiful, and she brings the historical characters to life."
~ Historical Novel Society

"Eleonora and Joseph is a passionate novel of love and revolution."
~ Readers’ Favorite

"It's a celebration of a remarkable woman whose legacy endures and a journey through a time that shaped the modern world. This novel is not just a read; it's an encounter with history's enduring echo."
~ Literary Titan