The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni

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The Betrothed is an Italian historical novel by Alessandro Manzoni, first published in 1827, in three volumes. It has been called the most famous and widely read novel of the Italian language. Set in northern Italy in 1628, during the terrible, oppressive years under Spanish rule, it is sometimes seen as a veiled attack on Austria, who controlled the region at the time of writing (the definitive version was published in 1842). It is also noted for the extraordinary description of the plague that struck Milan around 1630. The Betrothed was inspired by Walter Scott's Ivanhoe and was the first Italian historical novel. It deals with a variety of themes, from the cowardly, hypocritical nature of a priest (Don Abbondio) and the heroic sainthood of others (Padre Cristoforo, Federico Borromeo), to the unwavering strength of love (the relationship between Renzo and Lucia and the struggle of these betrothed to finally meet again and get married), and offers some keen insights into the meanderings of the human mind. Although not fully appreciated abroad, in Italy the novel is considered a real masterpiece of world literature and a basis for the modern Italian language, and as such widely read and studied in every school. Many expressions, quotes and names from the novel are still commonly used in Italian, such as Perpetua or Questo matrimonio non s'ha da fare ("This marriage is not to be performed", used ironically).

- Wikipedia

The 448th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 94th on The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time (The Novel 100)
  2. - Finest Works of Fiction (Martin Seymour-Smith and Editors)

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