A classic of Italian literature, this epic and unforgettable novel recounts one man’s long and turbulent life in revolutionary Italy
At the age of eighty-three and nearing death, Carlo Altoviti has decided to write down the confessions of his long life. Throughout, Carlo has lived for his two great passions: his dream of a unified, free Italy and his undying love for the magnificent but inconstant Pisana. Peopled by a host of unforgettable characters, this epic historical novel intertwines the remarkable story of one man’s life and the history of Italy’s unification.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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“Unfailingly lively . . . a masterpiece . . Few books, in fact, dramatize as engagingly as Confessions the collective flaws that still dog Italian public life today” –Tim Parks, New York Review of Books
“A sprawling story of love, valor, and the Risorgimento . . . The first complete version of Nievo’s book in English was published just this year, in a wonderful translation by Frederika Randall.” –Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker (Best Books of 2014)
“Of all the furore that came out of the Risorgimento, only Manzoni and Nievo really matter today” –Umberto Eco
“The one 19th century Italian novel which has [for an Italian reader] that charm and fascination so abundant in foreign literatures” — Italo Calvino
“Perhaps the greatest Italian novel of the nineteenth century” –Roberto Carnero
‘A wonderful blend of wit, political perspicuity and exuberant comic invention, The Confessions of an Italian has been called the great novel of the Risorgimento…Frederika Randall’s admirable new translation now makes it available in all its sprawling, teasing, snook-cocking glory…This is a humane piece of fiction, funny and wise, but it is also a candid, astute account of what it feels like to combine lofty patriotic illusions about a People, with a realistic view of how ignoble and mistaken people generally are.’ –Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Times Literary Supplement