The Savoy, a story that became a novel


By John

Fresco of an era marked by wars and disputes over territorial borders, in which the small county of Savoy, in addition to opposing the neighbouring powers (the marquisates of Saluzzo and Monferrato, the county of Geneva and the Dauphiné), is grappling with the rise of the Milanese Lordship in the hands of the unscrupulous Matthew Visconti, The complex novel opens with the plenary assembly of the representatives of the noble families in Giaveno in 1286 «The Count Grande – The Savoy, the history, the novel» by Lucrezia Bano – passionate researcher, PhD student at the School of Psychological and Anthropological Sciences of the University of Turin – who through a clear narration faithful to historical sources accompanies the reader through the dynamics that led to the affirmation of the most famous Italian monarchy.
A volume of great historical value, published by Le Trame di Circe, which brings to the fore the dialectic between feelings and reasons of State, showing their fundamental irreconcilability; because if toughness, unscrupulousness and diplomacy are the qualities that make governments great and make them grow, the defense of traditions and identities remain master strategies to keep them alive.
Arranged marriages, impossible loves and secret relationships thus mark the swing between conservatism and change, along a story that spans about seventy years of history.. Between the folds of individual events, different visions of the world, some assumed as a paradigm of government, almost always subservient to the goal of great territorial conquests. The multitude of characters is striking, but the protagonism is of the great families, entities above individuals. In a historical period in which power has its own specific characteristics and dynamics, the many characters of the novel each embody its specific nuances, to tell a varied humanity, outlined with depth and vivacity. As a feature of modernity, the power of a feminine intolerant to accept only “behind the scenes” roles emerges, inclined instead to implement a sort of “political mothering”to defend economic and territorial assets before their children come of age, like the enterprising Guya of Burgundy, mother of Philippe, legitimate heir to the county of Savoy. But these strong women are counterbalanced by child brides, sacrificed to sometimes bizarre family alliances. Because behind governments there are still people. And Lucrezia Bano shouts this out loud, highlighting how the affirmation of power sometimes requires the painful renunciation of the affirmation of the true self.