The Betrothed: A Tale of XVII Century Man

Alessandro Manzoni (Author) Jonathan Keates (Introduction by)
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Product Details

Everyman's Library
Publish Date
September 17, 2013
5.3 X 8.1 X 1.4 inches | 1.49 pounds

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About the Author

ALESSANDRO MANZONI, a revered poet, novelist, and statesman, was born in Milan in 1785 and died in 1873. His masterpiece, I promessi sposi--The Betrothed--was groundbreaking for replacing conventional antiquated rhetorical forms with expressive and accessible prose. His innovative style won him a broad audience and powerfully influenced the Italian writers who succeeded him.

About the Introducer: JONATHAN KEATES's works include the short story collection Allegro Postillions and the novel The Stranger's Gallery. He is the biographer of Handel, Purcell, and Stendhal, and is well known as a reviewer and writer on Italian culture and history. He teaches at the City of London School and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

About the Translator: ARCHIBALD COLQUHOUN (1912-1964) studied at Oxford and the Royal College of Art and went to Italy to paint in the 1930s. In 1940 he became acting director of the British Institute in Naples and served as an intelligence officer during the war. He translated Giuseppi di Lampedusa's masterpiece, The Leopard, for Everyman's, and in 1954 wrote a biography of Manzoni.


"This is not just a book; it offers consolation to the whole of humanity."
--Giuseppe Verdi

"[Manzoni is] the only Italian literary figure whom his countrymen consider worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Dante . . . It is almost impossible to accept this book as a first novel. Through the virtuosity with which its creator deploys and refines his raw materials, the story of Renzo and Lucia . . . consistently transcends its considerable potential for sentimentality . . . The mélange of tones, styles and methods within the book makes the experience of reading it one of the most rewarding--and simultaneously most challenging--in nineteenth-century fiction."
--from the Introduction by Jonathan Keates