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Venice is a magical place, full of hidden treasures. Included among these is Solomon’s Collarbone, a priceless emerald that has strange powers, and that is sought after by an eccentric scholar from London known as Baron Corvo. The Collarbone, indeed, is not only a precious gem, but also a talisman capable of opening the doors of the occult, a fetish that many find tempting.
In the lagoon city’s tangle of alleys, Corto will have to grapple with strange Freemasons, unusual adventurers, born again philosophers, and arrogant fascists, in a tale that travels on the border between dream and reality.
Among the true life characters are Baron Corvo (the pen-name of the English writer Frederick Rolfe), whose riddle sets Corto Maltese on a wild chase through Venice; Gabriele D’Annunzio (referred to in the story as “the Poet”), the Italian nationalist who was a key figure in the rise of Fascism; as well as two relatives of Hugo Pratt’s, the young Blackshirts Stevani and Boselli. Two women are richly developed in the tale: Hipazia, based on the historical novel Hypatia by Charles Kingley, and Louise Brookszowyc (an homage to Louise Brooks, the iconic star of Georg Pabst’s silent film classics Lulu and Diary of a Lost Girl).
RECURRING CHARACTERS IN FABLE OF VENICE: LOUISE BROOKSZOWYC
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