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25% completed and LOVING it Want a wonderfully old fashioned, lovingly human, and seemingly never ending long romance full of humour, pathos and endearingly living and breathing characters with swordplay n chivalry crammed cheek and jowl with free wheeling high adventure to curl up with in your free hours of discreet distancing from diseased public spaces As carefully wrought as a Cellini centrepiece of fine crafted gold, this book the Great Italian Novel follows the trials of two st 25% completed and LOVING it Want a wonderfully old fashioned, lovingly human, and seemingly never ending long romance full of humour, pathos and endearingly living and breathing characters with swordplay n chivalry crammed cheek and jowl with free wheeling high adventure to curl up with in your free hours of discreet distancing from diseased public spaces As carefully wrought as a Cellini centrepiece of fine crafted gold, this book the Great Italian Novel follows the trials of two star crossed lovers in a vivid and highly readable tale of malice and innocence, salvation and damnation in the Italian Renaissance My go to novel for Escape I m reading this VERY slowly because I never want it to endTheir spiritual advisor a man of substance formerly, though much fallen upon by evil circumstance, who now finds solace in cloistered prayer beseeches the betrothed couple, and especially the gallant, hot tempered young swain, to make discretion the better part of their innocent valour.And incredibly innocent they are indeed in the black gaze of the jaded nobleman who sees in this youth s lady love a rare beauty to whose maidenhead he must perforce have the unchallenged first right as Lord of the Demesne But innocence is blind to such rank deviousness in the first springtime of its youth, and so this poor young couple must pass through the very Gates of Hades for their wish of wedded bliss to become reality.Unquestionably, this is the All time Greatest Italian Coming of Age Novel.And historically, maybe Italy s most beloved novel, period If you are not Italian or a literature major, you may not be familiar with Alessandro Manzoni s The Betrothed I wasn t And if you aren t a determined reader, you might give up on its dense description of seventeen century customs and rigorous lifestyle from a nineteenth century reunification perspective It was an unduly harsh time for Italian peasantry Cycles of plagues, grueling poverty, starvation existence on unreliable crops, nothing even resembling government assistance excepti If you are not Italian or a literature major, you may not be familiar with Alessandro Manzoni s The Betrothed I wasn t And if you aren t a determined reader, you might give up on its dense description of seventeen century customs and rigorous lifestyle from a nineteenth century reunification perspective It was an unduly harsh time for Italian peasantry Cycles of plagues, grueling poverty, starvation existence on unreliable crops, nothing even resembling government assistance exceptinflexibility and intimidation Sometimes the Church and Her sacraments could be relied upon for succor, but Her ministers could also be bought or frightened into withholding their services as happened to our hero and heroine in the beginning of this story Renzo and Lucia, who want to marry, are stymied on their wedding day by a jealous local baron who threatens a cowardly priest into refusing to marry them Set against all odds Renzo and Lucia go their separate ways after a series of unfortunate events seems bound to keep them apart forever And as I mention below, there are some phenomenal hidden treasures which pop out at you during the tale, such as the real, Federigo Borromeo, Cardinal of Milan, the conversion of the Unnamed, finely drawn character descriptions for connoisseurs of the art, as well as some delightful comic relief Truly an epic story Today s reader might prefer this to be edited, but I would just encourage them to listen to it in its entirety Yes, there are some rather overlong parts, but I would not remove a word Bravo Mr Manzoni Risorgimento risord i mento , meaning the Resurgence or revival , was the political and social movement that consolidated different states of the Italian peninsula into the single state of the Kingdom of Italy in the 19th century September 19, 2018 This book has turned out to be so muchthan I ever ever expected The premise did not sound very complicated, but the history of the era is what gives it such a richness It is also much longer than I thought still readingAugust 13, 2018 In this month s Magnificat August 2018 there was an article, How the Church Has Changed the World, A Man of Rebirth describing a scene from Betrothed, which though fictional, relates an actual historical event in the life of Federigo Borromeo, Cardinal of Milan 1564 1631 Reading that made me want to re start Manzoni s book, previously downloaded Had set it aside as slow going now I amdetermined This novel is hated by many generations of Italians.Poor Alessandro Manzoni He s not to blame for the bad reputation of his book The moronic Italian educational system is the only guilt of the assassination of I Promessi Sposi in most of its readers Just consider this in Italy we study this novel at primary school, at secondary school and at high school Every single time restarting from its beginning Therefore it s pretty obvious that I Promessi Sposi becomes one of the worst nightmares of This novel is hated by many generations of Italians.Poor Alessandro Manzoni He s not to blame for the bad reputation of his book The moronic Italian educational system is the only guilt of the assassination of I Promessi Sposi in most of its readers Just consider this in Italy we study this novel at primary school, at secondary school and at high school Every single time restarting from its beginning Therefore it s pretty obvious that I Promessi Sposi becomes one of the worst nightmares of every young Italian pupil I don t know why things don t change Teachers and professors are simply obliged to include this novel in their programmes just like their students are forced to learn whole chapters of the book, being questioned on them Nevertheless I Promessi Sposi is a very good, intense and some times cinematic fresco of its own times, giving the best and most vivid description ever of the Great Plague in Milan during the 17th century.If you haven t been an Italian student I think you have to get a chance to this novel together with Le confessioni di un italiano by Ippolito Nievo which is even better When I began this novel, I was not sure whether I would complete it The reason I began it in the wrong time, that is, when I had many other responsibilities So it could never have served as a gap filler in the days Also, a thick volume would entail many days in such a tight schedule I was sure to be discouraged But as the book came in the package and as I began to read it I was immediately fascinated by the characters and the place described I gave it a try and now I have completed the bo When I began this novel, I was not sure whether I would complete it The reason I began it in the wrong time, that is, when I had many other responsibilities So it could never have served as a gap filler in the days Also, a thick volume would entail many days in such a tight schedule I was sure to be discouraged But as the book came in the package and as I began to read it I was immediately fascinated by the characters and the place described I gave it a try and now I have completed the book and my responsibilities stare at me Lol This is considered to be an Italian Classic And it is a Classic indeed The blurb at the back of the novel states thus Two lovers must face tyrants, war, riots, plague and famine as they struggle to be together, in this teeming panorama of seventeenth century Italian life the original historical novel I think, that is a great summary of the entire book But it has said hardly anything I mean the experience that the reader has as he she reads through the pages is irreplaceable The reader will literally walk the paths in the district of Lecco and lanes in the city of Milan of the 17th century Not only that, he she also will go through the significant events as the participant observer Reading through the events of famine, the war, the riot in Milan and especially the plague is equal to living through the events When Renzo the main protagonist was running away I felt myself running away and when he felt indignant I felt myself indignant When I saw through the eyes of Renzo the pathetic situation of plague in Milan, it repulsed me If it was not for the search of Lucia I surely would have abandoned the city long time back I put up with Renzo because I was as anxious as Renzo to find out what happened to Lucia Renzo s betrothed Another part that you cannot miss is the farewell to the mountains that comes at the end of the first part of the novel The protagonists run from their village to escape a great danger and as they move from their place they take leave of their place It will move you to tears.Powerful evocation is not all that made this novel great This novel is also about wonderful character studies Renzo stands for a good hearted simple peasant silk weaver who gets into trouble because of his impulsive behaviour As and when situation required he also could exercise certain cunning faculty that he has in his possession Lucia, his lover is just the opposite She is innocent as dove and who has complete faith in the Providence She sees God in every moment even when she finds herself in danger She never compromises her Christian values for anything She is a saint Don Abbondio is the cure of both Lucia and Renzo But he does not marry them because he is frightened by the tyrant don Rodrigo who has an eye for Lucia He is an epitome of a person who will put his own self before everything else If such attitude will result in much sufferings for the others, he is not worried I can go on talking about other characters the nun in Monza, the Unnamed, the Cardinal Federigo Borremeo, Capuchin friar Christopher, etc This novel is also typically Catholic The seventeenth century Italy was Catholic and so it is not a surprise But then, the fact that Italy also had produced Giovanni Boccaccio already in the 14th century stands to prove that there were opinions contrary to Catholic Church in Catholic Italy Manzoni here in this novel, however, stands as a staunch Catholic heralding the Catholic opinions In fact, he also must have been very well versed in theology The speeches given by Capuchin Friar Christopher and the sermon by another Capuchin at the end of the novel are excellent spiritual commentaries on many aspects forgiveness, faith in Providence, mercy of God, etc There is a passage in which Cardinal Federigo reprimands Don Abbondio for not doing his priestly duty The reprimand runs for two chapters In fact, they are wonderful source of spiritual inspiration for any Catholic priest The novel contains two events of great conversions They are moving descriptions and the way Manzoni narrates them by interpreting them as the act of Gods great mercy will edify a Christian reader Besides the passage that contains reprimand of Cardinal Federigo, the conversion narratives were my favourite parts of the novel You read a novel and come out spiritually nourished and strengthened Manzoni could do that to me.Last Aside Pope Francis had asked the betrothed couple to read this novel in the weekly general audience in May 2015 That is a solid advice In fact, it is a good book to gift to Christian couple already engaged or married or finding difficulty in marriage There are many passages in the novel where Christian sacramental marriage is spoken highly of The Pope was cunning enough to ask them to read a novel in stead of Church s teaching on marriage For the teaching is found in the novel in a scattered form With all going on in the world, it took me a long time to read this novel It is an Italian classics, which according to the introduction, is not much loved but the Italian children Allegedly, they are studying it at least 3 times during their school years.I ve started it a few weeks ago And during these few weeks it has become unexpectedly and eery topical The last part described an epidemic of plague in Milan in 1630 It seems that not much has changed in the human reaction on the coming th With all going on in the world, it took me a long time to read this novel It is an Italian classics, which according to the introduction, is not much loved but the Italian children Allegedly, they are studying it at least 3 times during their school years.I ve started it a few weeks ago And during these few weeks it has become unexpectedly and eery topical The last part described an epidemic of plague in Milan in 1630 It seems that not much has changed in the human reaction on the coming threat or in the management of these things by the government and public health authorities The plague has been brought then by the armies moving through the city to fight the war The authorities were warned of a danger ButThe reasons of interest and prestige which had set the imperial forces in motion wereweight than the considerations mentioned by the doctor As far as the public is concerned, they went through the same stages our societies were going recently and still going at the moment disbelief, careless behaviour and ignorance, then unfounded terror and, in some cases, prejudices and trying to find a scapegoat to blame Manzoni saysIgnorance often inspires courage at a time for caution, and caution in a time for courageBut he also talks about the acts of courage and human sacrifice The one of the characters, Father Christoforo is looking after the victims of the plague in lazaretto until his last breathThese scenes at the end of the novel have slightly overshadowed for me that it contains muchAlso it is not all gloom It ends well hardly a spoiler I really liked the first part of the novel Manzoni writes with the good sense of humour and irony There are even scenes one can laugh at.The plot is really simple A peasant boy wants to marry a peasant girl But a villain aristocrat tries to ruin everything as he makes a bet to have the girl There is a lot of clergy involved, both good guys and less good guys The tone is often extremely pious which has put me off a bit The plot is quite didactic as well.However, the historic analysis Manzoni incorporate in this novel is quite interesting Quite likely, it tells usabout early 19th century when the novel was written than about the 17th century when the novel is set But in any case it is fascinating to find out about such matters like the bread revolts in Milano or how the people communicated remotely when many of them could not write through someone who could and misunderstandings it caused.The article by Economist about this book, which is somewhat unfairly under the paywall But there is a limit of the free articles one can use An all time masterpiece of Italian literature We Italians all study it at school and of course, get bored to tears by it, unless we find some time to actually read and re read it for our own interest and pleasure perhaps years after graduation day That s when we can truly appreciate the wit, the humour, the historical and psychological insight, the language it s a pity it cannot be conveyed in translations The plot is quite simple and you surely have heard of it if you watch soap oper An all time masterpiece of Italian literature We Italians all study it at school and of course, get bored to tears by it, unless we find some time to actually read and re read it for our own interest and pleasure perhaps years after graduation day That s when we can truly appreciate the wit, the humour, the historical and psychological insight, the language it s a pity it cannot be conveyed in translations The plot is quite simple and you surely have heard of it if you watch soap operas and the like two young people want to get married, but the rich and powerful yet evil ruler of their village got a crush on the girl The couple will have to overcome lots of trouble and adventure in the turmoil of XVII century Northern Italy to fulfill their dream .DOWNLOAD ♞ I promessi sposi ♸ A cura di Ferruccio Ulivi edizione integraleLa storia di Renzo e Lucia, don Abbondio e padre Cristoforo, don Rodrigo e l Innominato ha appassionato generazioni di lettori e occupa ancora oggi un posto del tutto speciale nelle biblioteche degli italiani Storia milanese del XVII secolo scoperta e rifatta da Alessandro Manzoni era il sottotitolo con cui l autore presentava I promessi sposi , uno dei capolavori della nostra letteratura, affresco storico e romanzo in cui si fondono mirabilmente immagini forti e poetiche, pietas per un umanit ingenua e dolente, ironia Questa edizione si avvale di un ampia premessa e di un rigoroso corredo di note, utilissimi strumenti per comprendere pienamente i molteplici livelli e aspetti della narrazione If you can get through the first 100 pages of The Betrothed, which are entirely plot, extremely operatic, and full of bumbling intrigues, I suspect you will ultimately find it rewarding It concerns two young peasants from a village near Lake Como in 1628, Lorenzo and Lucia, who are engaged But a local scoundrel, the wealthy and tyrannical Don Rodrigo, has taken a shine to Lucia and has his ruffians threaten the priest who is supposed to conduct the wedding, so the wedding is foiled, and Lucia If you can get through the first 100 pages of The Betrothed, which are entirely plot, extremely operatic, and full of bumbling intrigues, I suspect you will ultimately find it rewarding It concerns two young peasants from a village near Lake Como in 1628, Lorenzo and Lucia, who are engaged But a local scoundrel, the wealthy and tyrannical Don Rodrigo, has taken a shine to Lucia and has his ruffians threaten the priest who is supposed to conduct the wedding, so the wedding is foiled, and Lucia and Lorenzo both flee in different directions for their personal safety Manzoni interrupts the plot often to give us historical background on wars, political intrigues, ecclesiastical happenings, famine and pestilence, sometimes quoting historians directly His tone shifts between comical and tragic some characters are clownish, others entirely pure of heart, some well meaning but foolish, some wholly evil It reminded me somewhat of Candide, although its occasional satirical tone never approaches the pungency of Voltaire s.I wanted to knowabout Gertrude, the mysterious Nun of Monza, one of thefascinating characters Her story should have beendeveloped, view spoiler and she should have popped up again later in the novel Her plotline neededof an arc hide spoiler Archibald Colquhoun s 1959 translation feels just a little off in places Lucia referring to her mother as Mummy, men calling younger men sonny, a reference to babies nappies He informs us that the first English translation, of 1828, was horrendous, and the ones that followed throughout the century not much better Manzoni sounds like kind of an odd man Colquhoun s excellent preface tells us that he hated meeting new people, was terrified of crowds, would order his servants to drive away birds in the trees under his windows, and weighed his clothes several times a day He was so forgetful that he would quote his own writings, thinking he was quoting others As for the novel, for Italy it is all Scott, Dickens, and Thackeray rolled into one volume, though its spirit is perhaps nearer Tolstoy Historical novel set in Italy during the 1600 s It s a long novel that may appeal to some, it just wasn t my cup of tea There s a bit of everything on offer here, skullduggery, star crossed lovers, treachery, pestilence and plague.Couldn t say in all honesty that the main characters appealed to me neither Lucy or Renzo Lucy was a bit of a striking violet for my reading taste Still it was listed on the Guardian 1000 list and I m glad that I took the chance to read, it just wasn t a story that Historical novel set in Italy during the 1600 s It s a long novel that may appeal to some, it just wasn t my cup of tea There s a bit of everything on offer here, skullduggery, star crossed lovers, treachery, pestilence and plague.Couldn t say in all honesty that the main characters appealed to me neither Lucy or Renzo Lucy was a bit of a striking violet for my reading taste Still it was listed on the Guardian 1000 list and I m glad that I took the chance to read, it just wasn t a story that engaged me A marvelous read There are quite a few asides to fill us in on the history of the time the story is set Most are interesting, a few go on too long for my taste, but not enough to knock even half a star off my rating The book is loaded with great quotes we all know that traditions, unless someone lends them a hand, never give you the full story.