After her widowhood in 1525, as the discussion in Chapter 1 seeks to make clear, Vittoria Colonna did not retreat into silence and private contemplation, despite her initial withdrawal into the convent of San Silvestro immediately following her husband’s death. Instead her literary activity grew in scale and scope, and the network of writers and artists with whom she corresponded spread far beyond her southern context to encompass the whole of the Italian peninsula as well as other European centres.1 No doubt there is a direct correlation between this increase in literary activity, with the accompanying increase in self-confidence that it conferred upon the writer, and the related increase in Colonna’s participation in the meetings and discussions of evangelical religious groups in Naples and later in Rome. While her poetic activity grew and gained direction after 1525 as the manifestation of a uniquely spiritual muse, it is unsurprising that the poet sought companionship and communion on just such spiritual issues in wider society, and notable that she discovered an outlet, via contact with Italian reformers, that was seemingly so perfectly in tune with the tenor of her lyric sensibilities.