Lady in Ermine is great for Book Clubs!

Book clubs are the perfect opportunity to examine Sofonisba’s life and accomplishments.

If you would like Donna to join for a zoom, please email her at with your proposed dates and time and put “Book Club Request” in the subject line.

Book Club Questions

  1. In the novel, what inspires Sofonisba’s choice to pursue portraiture?
  2. Sofonisba’s father Amilcare is supportive of her ambitions. What is his motivation?
  3. What does her tutor Marco represent?
  4. How does her art kit get her into trouble? How does it help her?
  5. At the King’s court, does either her gender or her profession limit her reputation? Does her gender or profession assist her reputation?
  6. The Plague of Burgos in 1565 decimates the town but then provides the cardinal a chance at redemption. Is it realistic the priest would regret his conduct toward the two individuals he addresses in his letters?
  7. What does the painting Lady in Ermine represent?
  8. What element appears in the first and last scenes?
  9. What was Sofonisba’s greatest life challenge?
  10. Would Sofonisba have been more successful if she were a man?

Donna with book club members.