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Francesco Andreini

Francesco Andreini (ca 1548-1624), Italian actor, was born at Pistoia. He was a member of the company of the Gelosi which Henry IV of France summoned to Paris to please his bride, the young queen Marie de Medici.

His wife Isabella Andreini (1562-1604) was a member of her husband's company, distinguished alike for her acting and her character,--commemorated in the medal struck at Lyons in the year of her death, with her portrait on one side, and the figure of Fame on the reverse with the words ''aeterna fama''. Born Isabella Canali at Padua, she met and married Francesco in 1578, when both were hired for the troupe of Flaminio Scala. She was also known in literature, her books including a pastoral, Mirtilla (Verona, 1588), a volume of songs, sonnets and other poems (Milan, 1601), and a collection of letters, published after her death. She inspired many of the French poets, notably Isaac du Ryer (d. c. 1631).

Her son Giambattista Andreini (1578-1650) was born in Florence, and had a great success as a comedian in Paris under the name of Leylio. He was a favourite with Louis XIII, and also with the public, especially as the young lover. He left a number of plays full of extravagant imagination. The best known are L'Adamo (Milan, 1613), The Penitent Magdalene (Mantua, 1617), and The Centaur (Paris, 1622). From the first of these three volumes, which are extremely rare, Italians have often asserted that Milton, travelling at that time in their country, took the idea of Paradise Lost.

Initial text from 1911 encyclopedia -- Please update as needed