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(I promessi sposi)
(Penguin Random House, 2022)
A novel by
In a new translation of the 1842 edition by
Michael F. Moore
Excerpts read by actor Demosthenes Chrysan
The event will be followed by the opening reception of the photographic exhibition
The Mutation: Walking with Manzoni
The timeless masterpiece from Alessandro Manzoni, the father of modern Italian literature, in the first new English-language translation in fifty years, hailed as “a landmark literary occasion” by Jhumpa Lahiri in her preface to the edition
The Betrothed is a cornerstone of Italian culture, language, and literature. Published in its final form in 1842, the novel has inspired generations of Italian readers and writers. Giuseppe Verdi composed his majestic Requiem Mass in honor of Manzoni. Italo Calvino called the novel “a classic that has never ceased shaping reality in Italy” while Umberto Eco praised its author as a “most subtle critic and analyst of languages.” The Betrothed has been celebrated by Primo Levi and Natalia Ginzburg, and is one of Pope Francis’s favorite books. But, until now, it has remained relatively unknown to English readers.
In the fall of 1628, two young lovers are forced to flee their village on the shores of Lake Como after a powerful lord prevents their marriage, plunging them into the maelstrom of history. Manzoni draws on actual people and events to create an unforgettable fresco of Italian life and society. In this greatest of historical novels, he takes the reader on a journey through the Spanish occupation of Milan, the ravages of war, class tensions, social injustice, religious faith, and a plague that devastates northern Italy. But within Manzoni’s epic tale, readers will also hear powerful echoes of our own day.
Michael F. Moore’s dynamic new translation brings to life Manzoni’s timeless literary masterpiece.
“This is not just a book; it offers consolation to the whole of humanity.”
“[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