Works of Margherita Costa in the Folger Collection

Margherita Costa (c. 1600 – after 1657) was an Italian Baroque singer, performer, and writer. Virginia Cox has described Costa as the "most distinctly 'seventeenth-century' of seventeenth-century female poets . . . , [whose works] are deserving of a far closer critical scrutiny than they have hitherto received" (213-214). Jessica Goethals and Sara Diaz have recently contributed to that critical work with their forthcoming edition and translation of Costa's The Buffoons in The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe series.

The Folger holds a significant collection of Costa's printed works, including

  • Istoria del viaggio d'Alemagna del serenissimo Gran Duca di Toscana Ferdinando Secondo, [The History of Grand Duke of Florence Ferdinando II's Trip to Germany], Venice, [1630?]. Folger call number: 223- 098q (Hamnet record)
  • Il violino, [The Violin], Frankfurt: per Daniel Wastch, 1638. Folger call number: 199- 908q (Hamnet record). Electronic version of Harvard copy.
  • Per l’incendio di Pitti, [On the Fire in Palazzo Pitti]. Florence: Nella Stamperia nuoua, 1638. Folger call number: 262- 664q (Hamnet record)
  • Flora feconda, poema, [Fertile Flora, A Poem], Florence: Massi e Landi, 1640. Folger call number: 181- 821q (Hamnet record)
  • La selva di Cipressi, [The Cypress Forest], Florence, 1640. Folger call number: 178- 228q (Hamnet record). Electronic version of Harvard copy.
  • Li buffoni: Comedia ridicola, [The Buffoons: A Ridiculous Comedy], Florence: Massi e Landi, 1641. Folger call number: 169- 572q (Hamnet record)
  • La tromba di Parnaso, [The Trumpet of Parnassus], Paris, 1647. Folger call number: 212- 505q item 1 (Hamnet record)
  • Festa reale per balletto a cavallo, [Royal Festivities for an Equestrian Ballet], Paris: Craimoisy, 1647. Folger call number: 212- 505q item 2 (Hamnet record)
  • La selva di Diana, [The Forest of Diana], Paris: Craimoisy, 1647. Folger call number: 212- 505q item 3 (Hamnet record)

The following titles would complete our Costa holdings:

  • La chitarra, [The Guitar], Frankfurt: per Daniel Wastch, 1638
  • Lettere amorose, [Love Letters] (reprinted with some revisions in 1674), Venice, 1639
  • Lo stipo, [The Jewel Box], Venice, 1639
  • La flora feconda drama, [Fertile Flora, A Drama], Florence: Massi e Landi, 1640
  • Cecilia martire poema sacro, [Cecilia the Martyr, A Sacred Poem], Rome: Mascardi, 1644. Electronic version of Harvard copy.
  • Gli amori della luna, [Lovers of the Moon], Venice: Giuliani, 1654

Single Poem Editions:

  • Al serenissimo Ferdinando II, Gran Duca di Toscana, per la festa di San Giovanni Battista, Venice [np, nd].
  • Al serenissimo principe Gio. Carlo di Toscana, per la carica di generalissimo del mare conferitagli dalla M. Cattolica, Florence, Massi & Landi [np, nd].
  • Al serenissimo Ferdinando II, Gran Duca di Toscana, nel giorno della sua nascita, Florence: Landi, 1655.


Cox, Virginia, Women's Writing in Italy, 1400–1650, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.

Natalia Costa-Zalessow, "Margherita Costa." In Seventeenth-Century Italian Poets and Dramatists. Dictionary of Literary Biography. Gale, 2008: 113-18.