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Sibilla of Altavilla

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Sibilla of Altavilla

Countess of Conversano, Douchess of Normandy.

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Sibilla of Altavilla

Countess of Conversano, Douchess of Normandy.

"In these pages, as we turn our gaze to the past in order to
understand its timeless messages, we discover a young woman
who dedicated herself equally to her duties as a wife and mother
and as a political reformer in a country that was not her own. Her
story is not merely that of the almost-queen of England, but of an
emigrant who found herself, like so many others from our native
Puglia, facing unforeseen challenges in an unfamiliar land, where
despite her status as an outsider she struggled bravely for the
rights of women, for the advancement of education, and of good
government. Her premature death was a reflection of the positive
and perhaps revolutionary impact that her efforts were having on
the culture of medieval Normandy. By celebrating the life of
Sibylla of Altavilla, we are adding depth to our region’s history
of migration, both in its ancient and more recent phases, and at
the same time finding yet another opportunity to take pride in the
important contributions that men and women of Puglia are still
making to their adopted countries. Such achievements are an
ongoing tribute to the greatness of the land of their birth.”
Elena Gentile
Assessor of the Welfare Council
and of Pugliesi nel Mondo
"Familiarity with the history and culture of medieval Puglia is
essential for understanding our more modern experiences of
migration. Sibylla was one of the first historical figures to
represent our land to the outside world; this account of her life is
testimony to the impact that the promotional activities of various
local associations have made, and are continuing to make, thanks
to the on-going support of the Regional Administration of Puglia.
Our goal is to inspire and support those who bring to light a wide
range of expatriates whose adopted homelands have benefited
greatly from their energy and initiative. "
Giovanna Genchi
Director of the Program Pugliesi nel Mondo

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