Name: Maddalena Bona Malaspina
Play by: Alexia Giordano
Nickname: Lena or Bona
Maddalena is a petite little thing. Standing at five foot five inches tall, her body the willowy delicate figure of a young noblewoman though her bust was sinfully small(in her opinion, of which she prays forgiveness for desiring such a vanity). Her skin the color of pale cream and her face of soft gentility with almond shaped eyes the color of mint green and plump round lips soft and pliable. The one striking quality (and the only one Maddalena likes of herself) is her long chestnut hair which drops in waves and curls and nearly kisses the tops her pert little bottom.
Having lived such a cloistered life, Maddalena is as sweet and kind as a child untouched by the horrors of life as one can be. With a friendly disposition and a deep seated desire to be liked or loved by anyone, she aims to please and often despairs when others around her are unhappy with her, or unhappy themselves. Maddalena will often strive to make jokes or suggest a game in order to have fun and laugh, a thing she loves most in the world.
To see home again, to marry well as her father wishes
The Malaspina’s could trace their lineage back to Franceschetto Cybo. The Cybo’s as they once were and then Cybo- Malaspina’s finally became the Malaspina’s. A titled lineage of Spoleto with ego’s to match. The story of Maddalena’s life begins where it always begins. With her Father. Cossimo Malaspina, Duke of Spoleto.
Cossimo was man who married late in life. Given that his father; Lorenzo Malaspina died suddenly when he was a young man of seventeen. Cossimo choose to prove his worth in carrying the name of Duke of Spoleto rather than married and was in his late twenties when he finally took a wife. When finally he married, he took a wife of equal age and title, Vannozza di Cordona. Within a year of their marriage, she bore him a son; Pier Luigi Malaspina. Sadly, Vannozza passed just a few short weeks later with the sickness of childbirth.
Cossimo waited a respectable year before he married again. This time to Maddalena mother, Eleonora Bona Gonzaga. Eleonora was a breath takingly beautiful woman and much loved by the Spoleto people but it would be six years before she gave Cossimo a child.
Enter Maddalena Bona Malaspina. Born in the spring of 1775. Even as a baby, it was said she was as beautiful as her mother. Such a gentle child was born that she did not cry even as she entered into the world so that the midwife slapped her to get her to cry and prove she was alive. She was the apple to her mother and Father’s eye and even a seven year old Pier loved his baby sister greatly.
Sadly, Maddalena would know tragedy at the tender age of five when her mother died giving birth to a son, whom would never even take his own breath. Father, son and daughter were left to grieve deeply for the death of Eleonora.
Despite the fact that Cossimo grieved so for his wife, with the fear for his legacy and lack of heirs, Cossimo married again in 1782 to Elisabetta Donato. The seven year old Maddalena who missed her mother so dearly, still welcomed Elisabetta with open arms in the desire to have what her heart missed so, a mother.
However, such things were not in the cards for Maddalena whom Cossimo praised the beauty of his late wife Eleonora in his growing daughter to his new wife. Just a few short months into life with her new stepmother, Elisabetta convinced her husband to send Maddalena to the Santa Maddalena Convent in Pesaro for safe keeping (though really the woman just wanted the attention of her husband to herself) even Pier was sent off to school as heir and future Duke of Spoleto.
She wrote often to her Father/Stepmother and brother as often as she was allowed to and was allowed to visit home twice through the years but mostly, she stayed at the convent, safe and sheltered from the cruel world(her stepmother's words) until her seventeenth birthday when it was decided she would travel to Venice to stay with her Father’s brother; Vincenzo Malaspina and his wife, Angela who was a distant cousin to her late mother. It was her Father’s hope, he had written the day before her departure’ that she would find an advantageous marriage that would both support and elevate their family to higher standards.
An so sweet and sheltered Maddalena left the comfort of the only home she had known for the past ten years to travel to Venice to do as her father bid her.