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The Betrothed

The Betrothed
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 ... Return to the Roots of Faith in Fiction!
Wiseblood Books Classic, paperback, 514 pages.

Click here to view our entire selection of historical novels.


Volume 17 in the Wiseblood Classics reprint series, Alessandro Manzoni's internationally known masterpiece THE BETROTHED [Italian title: "I Promessi Sposi"] was first published in 1827.  Inspired by Sr. Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe", The Betrothed succeeded in introducing a new literary genre through Italy to the world -- that of the historical novel. This was noted by Edgar Allan Poe who, reviewing the novel in the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835, hailed Manzoni's epic as "a work which promises to be the commencement of a new style in novel-writing."

Set in 17th century Milan, the novel's centripetal force is the simple story of a betrothed couple whose forthcoming wedding is halted by a lusting noble's dubious designs.   Manzoni takes the reader through war, famine, plague, and riot, corrupt prelates and humble priests, as the betrothed young people who have been wrest asunder by a rich man's evil designs thirst for reunification. A panoramic meditation on politics, power, and pain, this novel is above all dramatic proof of love's final triumph -- a triumph that cannot be wrought, in human affairs, without pain.

I Promessi Sposi has inspired two operas and a number of movies, not to mention countless readers, since its initial publication. 

About the author: Count Alessandro Francesco Tommaso Manzoni was an Italian poet and novelistBorn at Milan, Italy, March 7th 1785, Manzoni was educated at Lugano, Milan, and Pavia, and after taking his degree joined his mother in Paris, where he found her in the circle of Mme. Condorcet and the surviving rationalists of the eighteenth century. These associations led him for a time into scepticism, but he was later converted to Catholicism, and remained a steadfast adherent of that faith till his death, defending it in his writings against the Protestant historian Sismondi. Manzoni was a warm sympathizer with the aspirations of his country toward political independence, but he took no very active part in public agitation. When Italy was at last free, he was made a Senator and awarded a pension. He died at Milan, May 22, 1873.  Manzoni is famous for the novel The Betrothed (Italian: I Promessi Sposi), generally ranked among the masterpieces of world literature. The novel is also a symbol of the Italian Risorgimento, both for its patriotic message and because it was a fundamental milestone in the development of the modern, unified Italian language.  (Excerpted from Wikkepedia and the introduction to the Harvard Classics edition, with adaptation.)


Publisher's Note: WISEBLOOD BOOKS is an editing and publishing line dedicated to preserving, discovering, pruning, and printing fiction, essay collections, and other work  fit for the world stage. We believe that many brilliant manuscripts should be published widely but remain buried in desk drawers because they cannot meet the often dubious demands of the New York publishing industry, and we aim to remedy that. Through the WISEBLOOD CLASSICS SERIES we hope to bring hard-to-find great books back into being, and conserve classic works of literature in book form. Many of our Classics contain critical introductions and essays.  Visit us at www.wisebloodbooks.com ... We are wide-eyed for new epiphanies of beauty!

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