Pressure to Publish: Laura Terracina and her Editors

08 Sep 2017

Laura Terracina (1519–c.1577) was the bestselling female author of sixteenth-century Italy, publishing eight poetry collections, several of which went through numerous reprints. While other female poets attained greater cultural prestige, none was as widely published, nor reflected so well the developing worlds of print, publication, and authorship from mid- to late Cinquecento. Her publication history problematizes the accepted narrative of how women came to print and of their relationship with their editors and publishers. From the time she first appeared in print in 1546 to the writing of her final manuscript in 1577, Terracina proved to be an engaged and headstrong author with a strong sense of ownership of her works. This article will explore Terracina’s relationships with her editors and publishers, analyzing her role in the publication process to argue that she took a much more active part in their production than has previously been appreciated.