Pellico, Silvio

Pellico, Silvio

(sēl`vyō pĕl`lēkō), 1789–1854, Italian dramatic poet. His principal work is Francesca da Rimini (1815, tr. 1856). Imprisoned for eight years by the Austrians as a Carbonarist (see CarbonariCarbonari
[Ital.,=charcoal burners], members of a secret society that flourished in Italy, Spain, and France early in the 19th cent. Possibly derived from Freemasonry, the society originated in the kingdom of Naples in the reign of Murat (1808–15) and drew its members from
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), he wrote a candid and moving account of his prison life, Le mie prigioni (1832, tr. My Prisons, 1833), which created widespread sympathy for the RisorgimentoRisorgimento
[Ital.,=resurgence], in 19th-century Italian history, period of cultural nationalism and of political activism, leading to unification of Italy. Roots of the Risorgimento
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Pellico, Silvio


Born June 25, 1789, in Saluzzo; died Jan. 31, 1854, in Turin. Italian writer.

Pellico took part in the Risorgimento. His tragedy Francesca da Rimini (1815; Russian translation, 1861) expressed heroic and patriotic themes. In 1818 and 1819 he edited the progressive journal Il Conciliatore. In 1820, as a participant in a Carbonari conspiracy, he was sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to 15 years’ imprisonment in the Spielberg fortress. Freed in 1830, he abandoned political activity. Pellico’s autobiography, Le mie prigioni (My Prisons, 1832; Russian translation, 1836), a work imbued with inner dignity and stoic patience, was praised by A. S. Pushkin. It was translated into many languages and contributed to the development of the Italian national liberation movement.


Scritti scelti. Turin, 1960.
In Russian translation:
Ob obiazannostiakh cheloveka. St. Petersburg, 1895.


Pushkin, A. S. “’Ob obiazannostiakh cheloveka’: Sochinenie Sil’vio Pelliko.” Poln. sobr. soch. v 6-ti tt., vol. 5. Moscow, 1950. Page 339.
Ravello, F. Silvio Pellico. Turin, 1954.
Kauchtschischwili, N. Silvio Pellico e la Russia. Milan, 1963.


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