Manzoni, Alessandro

   Born in Milan, Manzoni was the grandson of Cesare Beccaria, the enlightenment philosopher and jurist. As a writer, his most creative period was between 1812 and 1827. In these years, he wrote his most influential poetry and plays and, after 1821, began working on the huge manuscript of I promessi sposi (The Betrothed), which was originally called Fermo e Lucia. The novel was published in 1827.
   I promessi sposi tells the story of two weavers, Renzo and Lucia, who wish to marry but whose love is endangered by Don Rodrigo, a libertine who has other plans for Lucia. The couple flee, are separated, and undergo seemingly endless vicissitudes, but are eventually reunited in happy married life. Summarized so briefly, the novel might seem to be a mere melodrama. In fact, it was a momentous step for Italian literature. For the first time since Boccaccio, ordinary people took the stage in Italian literature, speaking in their native language and being described faithfully as dignified individuals rather than as caricatures. There was nothing artificial or rhetorical about Manzoni’s style, while the powerful Christian humanism suffusing the novel was an equally radical innovation for the time. I promessi sposi remains a subject of compulsory study in Italian schools. After the publication—and immediate public and critical success—of I promessi sposi, Manzoni fell silent. He was made a life senator in 1861. He dedicated his later years to writing a historical essay comparing the French Revolution with the Risorgimento. This work was published after his death in Milan in 1873.
   See also Verdi, Giuseppe.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Manzoni,Alessandro — Man·zo·ni (män zōʹnē, dzōʹ ), Alessandro. 1785 1873. Italian writer best known for his romantic novel The Betrothed (1825 1827), considered one of the greatest works of modern Italian fiction. * * * …   Universalium

  • MANZONI, ALESSANDRO —    Italian poet and novelist, born at Milan; began a sceptic, but became a devout Catholic; wrote a volume of hymns, entitled Inni Sacri, and a tragedy, Adelchi, his masterpiece, and admired by Goethe, as also a prose fiction, I Promessi Sposi,… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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  • Alessandro Manzoni — Alessandro Francesco Tommaso Manzoni Born 7 March 1785(1785 03 07) Milan, Italy1 Died 22 May 1873(1873 …   Wikipedia

  • Alessandro Manzoni — por Francesco Hayez, 1841 (Pinacoteca de Brera). Alessandro Francesco Tommaso Manzoni (Milán, 7 de marzo de 1785 – Milán, 22 de mayo de 1873) fue uno de los mejores poetas y escritores italianos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Alessandro Manzoni —     Alessandro Manzoni     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Alessandro Manzoni     Italian poet and novelist, b. at Milan, 7 March, 1785; d. 22 May, 1873. He was the son of Pietro Manzoni, the representative of an old feudal family of provincial… …   Catholic encyclopedia

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