Journalist, Writer, Author, Playwright, Scriptwriter, Travel Writer, Photographer, Teacher
A Selection of my work under various categories
Venice’s Virgin Mother
A novel by Berwyn Lewis
In 17th century Venice a young woman discovers she’s pregnant and comes up with a perfect alibi. She claims she’s had an immaculate conception and will have a virgin birth but this doesn’t stop her family from banishing her to a convent.
Like many convents of the time it is home to one of Venice’s worst-kept secrets. Behind its forbidding looking walls, veils and vows do nothing to curb the appetites of the lusty residents – including some men. Disguised as nuns, they enjoy the lavish banquets and balls of convent life with their lovers, liberated women who have the freedom to compose music, plays and poetry, often penned with male pseudonyms and performed to audiences from all walks of life.
The Doge supports a Venetian virgin birth. It will rock religious boats (and gondolas), strike a blow against Rome’s monopoly on virgin births, boost Venetian Empire trade and bring the world to Venice’s doorstep.
It isn’t the first virgin birth. The twin founders of Rome were born of the mythical Rhea Silvia, a virgin. It had to be just a matter of time before another one popped up and this time it’s in Venice and the Doge is all for it.
Too dangerous to reveal until now, this satire and rollicking comedy tells how women struggled with families, husbands and other enemies, and were dominated by an overzealous church bent on robbing them of their birthright. It is also a useful virgin birth DIY and includes tips on creating miracles. It speaks to today’s world where religion and other superstitions continue to oppress so many and cause so much suffering.
"Venice’s Virgin Mother is an audacious, rollicking, page turner of a yarn. Funny, witty and gloriously creative. The reader is magnetically drawn to the sheer exuberance and enjoyment of the story, interlaced with an array of incredible characters, who weave throughout the tale, sometimes with surprising results! This bewitching and beguiling story, of Venice’s virgin birth, is set against a riotous kaleidoscope of the sights, sounds, smells, secrets, surprises and famous landmarks of 17th Century Venice. Gloriously written by the author, Berwyn Lewis, who adeptly conjures 17th Century Venetian atmosphere, stringing together wonderful evocative words, embellished with lavish detail. The pace is fast and frenzied and keeps you reading into the early hours of the morning." This is a juicy fast paced feast of a book!
"A Must Read Novel +++A"
- Joanie Finnerty (Sydney and London)