Women of the Knight . . .
. . . the Lord, the Earl, the Duke, and the King. The world's oldest profession also has its higher ranks the world over, e.g., Geishas in Japan, Gisaeng in Korea, and the Cortigiane Oneste in the Venice of Galileo's time, all of whom were expected to entertain men in more than the most basic sense. I've just learned from yesterday's reading in Heilbron's biography of Galileo about those highly skilled "honest courtesans":
An honest courtesan could sing and play the lute, read and write, and, in some well-studied cases, recite and compose poetry. (John Heilbron, Galileo, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010, page 83)Galileo in fact had three children with a woman named Marina Gamba to whom he never proposed marriage, though he did help her compose poems, and who may have been one of these 'honest' ladies just noted, despite never having quite made an honest man of Galileo (page 84).
I'm learning a great deal about Galileo from Heilbron's book, which is a fascinating synthesis of art and science and a thought-provoking text on the nature of scientific discovery. I begin to see why Heilbron doubts that there is just one scientific method.
More another time . . .