It is speculated that she came to regret her decision to become a courtesan. She wrote to a friend that:
“You can do nothing worse in life than force the body into servitude, to give oneself in prey to so many, to risk being despoiled, robbed or killed . . . to move as someone else desires, and to risk the shipwreck of your faculties and your life – what fate could be worse?”
But. While this perhaps does not make being a courtesan today sound appealing (let’s not do it after all, probably), I can still not help but feel that it might be a decision that would be exceedingly sensible to make at that time – that is, if you wanted to spend a life writing poems and hanging out with artists and writers and not, say, dealing with a possibly abusive husband who wouldn’t let you use your dowry.
We probably do not want to be her, because you don’t want to have to worry about being rendered destitute when your beauty fades (or when people decide you are a witch, and, hell, people are always deciding that I am a witch.) But by the same token, it is because of women like Franco that we can pick alternate jobs where we can write and create and be respected for talents other than just having sex.
Which is all very good, even if I would still like some illuminated manuscripts.