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4.0 

The Betrothed

By Alessandro Manzoni and Michael F. Moore and Jhumpa Lahiri
The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni and Michael F. Moore and Jhumpa Lahiri digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

“The first English translation in more than fifty years of Alessandro Manzoni’s masterpiece, a work of foundational Italian literature on par with the Divine Comedy and the Decameron.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“An exemplary historical novel” (The New Yorker) from the father of modern Italian literature, The Betrothed receives its first new English-language translation in fifty years, hailed as “a landmark literary occasion” by Jhumpa Lahiri.

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker

The Betrothed is a cornerstone of Italian culture, language, and literature. Published in its final form in 1842, The Betrothed 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 of The Betrothed brings to life Manzoni’s timeless literary masterpiece.

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5 Reviews

4.0
“This book may be much better in its original Italian, but this translation was a slog to get through. Boring, preachy, unrealistic, melodramatic, sexist. The pacing was all wrong. The only really interesting part of the book to me was the plague, and that did not even appear until the 3/4 mark! The author would go off on long tangents about irrelevant topics and characters. More often than not, each chapter put me to sleep!”

About Alessandro Manzoni

Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) is best known for his novel The Betrothed, which ranks among the masterpieces of world literature. It was first published in 1827 and then in 1842 in a revised edition. Manzoni was also a poet, prolific essayist, and playwright. In his life and in his writing, he was committed to the cause of Italian independence and the forging of a modern Italian identity, culture, and language.

Michael F. Moore’s published translations range from twentieth-century classics—Agostino by Alberto Moravia and The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi—to contemporary novels. Moore is the former chair of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund and has a PhD in Italian from New York University. For many years he was also an interpreter at the United Nations and a full-time staff member of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN.

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