Alessandro Manzoni

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Manzoni, Alessandro

Manzoni, Alessandro (älās-sänˈdrō mändzôˈnē), 1785–1873, Italian novelist and poet. Taken in his youth to Paris by his mother in 1805, Manzoni embraced the deism that he was later to discard for an ardent Roman Catholicism. He returned to Italy in 1807 and in his later years was a senator. He wrote tragedies, including Il Conte di Carmagnola (1820) and Adelchi (1822), and poetry, such as the Inni sacri (1812–1817) and the celebrated Il Cinque Maggio (1821), an ode on the death of Napoleon. It was in 1821–27, under the influence of Sir Walter Scott, that Manzoni produced his most famous work, I promessi sposi (tr. The Betrothed, 1827), a novel of 16th-century Milan that reveals a detailed understanding of Italian life and remains one of Italy's most enduring novels. By 1875, 118 editions had appeared, and the work was widely translated. After its first issue, however, Manzoni continued to revise the work, publishing a stylistically superior version in Tuscan Italian in 1840. As a result, his influence on the development of a consistent Italian prose style was immense. Verdi wrote his Requiem for the first anniversary of Manzoni's death.


See translations of The Betrothed by A. Colquhoun (1951) and B. Penman (1972); biographies by G. P. Barricelli (1976), S. B. Chandler (1977), and N. L. Ginzburg (tr. 1987); study by S. Matteo and L. H. Peer, ed. (1987).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Manzoni, Alessandro


Born Mar. 7, 1785, in Milan; died there May 22, 1873. Italian writer.

Manzoni was the son of a count. He graduated from an aristocratic higher school in 1805. In his early works, the allegory “Triumph of Liberty” (1801) and the ode “On the Death of Carlo Imbonati” (1806), Manzoni was faithful to the Enlightenment tradition. In the 1820’s he joined the romantic movement (Sacred Hymns, 1812-22, published 1815-23; Letter to Mr. C[hanvert] on the Unity of Time and Place in Tragedy and On Romanticism, both in 1823). Manzoni’s odes “March 1821” and “The Fifth of May” (1821) and the historical tragedies Count Carmagnola (1820; Russian translation, 1888) and Adelchi (1822), imbued with patriotism and love of freedom, were written in the spirit of the Risorgimento.

Manzoni’s best work was the historical novel The Betrothed (1827; Russian translation, 1833). It combined romanticism with a realistic portrayal of the life and historical background of 17th-century Lombardy. Manzoni’s protagonists are ordinary peasants who pit their moral strength against the arbitrary rule of the feudal lords. The ideas of Christian humility do not dampen the novel’s democratic tendencies. The Betrothed occupies an important place in Italian realistic prose of the 19th and 20th centuries. After 1827, Manzoni wrote only theoretical articles on language and literature.


Tutte le opere. Rome, 1965.


Poluiakhtova, I. K., “A. Manzoni.” In Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury XIX veka: Epokha Risordzhimento. Moscow, 1970.
De Sanctis, F. “Manzoni.” In Opere, vol. 10. [Turin, 1955.]
Sapegno, N. Ritratto di Manzoni ed altri saggi. Ban, 1961.
Derla, L. Il realismo storico di A. Manzoni. Milan-Varese, 1965.
Santarelli, G. I cappuccini nel romanzo manzoniano, Milan, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Storia milanese del secolo XVII, scoperta e rifatta da Alessandro Manzoni. Tomi tre.
Tra le cinque pubblicazioni della collana incontriamo cosi tesi di dottorato e lavori di studiosi di recente formazione, scritti in inglese, francese e italiano: ultimo di questi lavori e una monografia della studiosa milanese Alice Crosta, dedicata interamente alia ricezione delle opere di Alessandro Manzoni nel contesto anglosassone ottocentesco, indagata con una analisi che va al di la d'una semplice ricognizione delle traduzioni deH'opera manzoniana.
(16) Stanley Bernard Chandler, Alessandro Manzoni: The Story of a Spiritual Quest (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1974), p.
In 1827, Alessandro Manzoni published his literary masterpiece, the historical novel Ipromessi sposi.
The Manzoni Family, her latest epistolary experiment, is really fiction manque, an immense novelistic pastiche of the correspondence of Alessandro Manzoni, the author of The Betrothed, and several generations of his distinguished nineteenth-century Italian family.
Illustra il rapporto stretto, a volte difficile e complesso, tra autore ed editore, Neil Harris (che paragona un bravo filologo ad un netturbino, che tiene 'pulito' il suo sistema) nel suo saggio sulle modifiche apportate da Alessandro Manzoni a I promessi sposi, con cambi di testo a edizione awenuta; mentre Paolo Procaccioli sottolinea i problemi legati alia veste grafica 'ammodernata' con la quale molte opere vengono oggi proposte.
No comprehensive historical analysis on book reviewing in Italian literature has yet to be published, but the comments penned about Pratesi help chronicle the intimacies of his life, which include a vast swath of late nineteenth-century Italian figures such as Alessandro Franchi, Giosue Carducci and Alessandro Manzoni to name but a few.
Questo saggio nasce da uno studio sul coraggio della verita nei due testi che Alessandro Manzoni ha pubblicato all'interno della Quarantana, I promessi sposi e la Storia della colonna infame.
The musical setting of the Roman Catholic funeral mass for four soloists, double choir and orchestra was composed in memory of Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni and was first performed in Milan in May 1874.
Initially ignored by Italian publishers, Artusi's volume represents the most read Italian cookbook of all times and a milestone of 19th century Italian popular culture together with "Promessi Sposi," a novel by Alessandro Manzoni; "Pinocchio," a tale by Carlo Collodi; and "Cuore," a novel by Edmondo De Amicis.
The work was written to mourn the poet Alessandro Manzoni.