Silvio Pellico

Silvio Pellico (Italian: [ˈsilvjo ˈpɛlliko]; 24 June 1789 – 31 January 1854) was an Italian writer, poet, dramatist and patriot active in the Italian unification.

Silvio Pellico
Silvio Pellico.


Silvio Pellico was born in Saluzzo (Piedmont). He spent the earlier portion of his life at Pinerolo and Turin, under the tuition of a priest named Manavella. At the age of ten he composed a tragedy inspired by a translation of the Ossianic poems. On the marriage of his twin sister Rosina with a maternal cousin at Lyon, he went to reside in that city, devoting himself during four years to the study of French literature. He returned in 1810 to Milan, where he became professor of French in the Collegio degli Orfani Militari, now the Scuola Militare Teulié.[1]

His tragedy Francesca da Rimini was brought out with success by Carlotta Marchionni at Milan in 1818. Its publication was followed by that of the tragedy Euphemio da Messina, but the representation of the latter was forbidden. [1]

Pellico had in the meantime continued his work as tutor, first to the unfortunate son of Count Briche, and then to the two sons of Count Porro Lambertenghi. He threw himself heartily into an attempt to weaken the hold of the Austrian despotism by indirect educational means. [1]

The Conciliatore, a review, appeared in 1818. Of the powerful literary executives that gathered about Counts Porro and Confalonieri, Pellico was the able secretary on whom most of the responsibility for the review, the organ of the association, fell. But the paper, under the censorship of the Austrian officials, ran for a year only, and the society itself was broken up by the government. In October 1820, Pellico was arrested on the charge of carbonarism and conveyed to the Santa Margherita prison. After his removal to the Piombi at Venice in February 1821, he composed several Cantiche and the tragedies Ester d'Engaddi and Iginici d'Asti.

Arresto di Silvio Pellico e Piero Maroncelli - Carlo Felice Biscarra
The Arrest of Silvio Pellico and Piero Maroncelli, Saluzzo, civic museum.

The sentence of death pronounced on him in February 1822 was finally commuted to fifteen years of jail in harsh condition, and in the following April he was placed in the Spielberg, at Brünn (today's Brno), where he was transferred via Udine and Ljubljana. His chief work during this part of his imprisonment was the tragedy Leoniero da Dertona, for the preservation of which he was compelled to rely on his memory. [1]

After his release in 1830, he commenced the publication of his prison compositions, of which the Ester was played at Turin in 1831, but immediately suppressed. In 1832, his Gismonda da Mendrisio, Erodiade and the Leoniero , appeared under the title of Tre nuove tragedie, and in the same year the work which gave him his European fame, Le mie prigioni, an account of his sufferings in prison. The last gained him the friendship of the Marchesa Juliette Colbert de Barolo, the reformer of the Turin prisons, and in 1834 he accepted from her a yearly pension of 1200 francs. His tragedy Tommaso Moro had been published in 1833, his most important subsequent publication being the Opere inedite in 1837. [1]

On the decease of his parents in 1838, he was received into the Casa Barolo, where he remained until his death, assisting the marchesa in her charities, and writing chiefly upon religious themes. Of these works the best known is the Dei doveri degli uomini, a series of trite maxims which do honor to his piety rather than to his critical judgment. A fragmentary biography of the marchesa by Pellico was published in Italian and English after her death. [1]

He died in 1854 at Turin. He was buried in the Camposanto, Turin.

The simple narrative and naive egotism of Le mie prigioni has established his strongest claim to remembrance, winning fame by his misfortunes rather than by his genius.[1]The late nineteenth century English novelist George Gissing read the work, in Italian, whilst staying in Naples in November 1888.[2] "My prisons" contributed to the Italian unification, against Austrian occupation.[3] The pamphlet was translated into virtually every European language during Pellico's lifetime.

In popular culture

Silvio Pellico gave his name to a little community (1,500 inhabitants) founded in Argentina by Italian immigrants from Saluzzo.

Main works

  • Pellico, Silvio (1839). Published by William and Robert Chambers. Edinburgh. (ed.). The imprisonments of Silvio Pellico.
  • Pellico, Silvio (1889). Introduction by Epes Sargent. (ed.). My Prisons: Memoirs of Silvio Pellico. Roberts Brothers, Boston.
  • Pellico, Silvio (1897). Translated by Rev JF Bingham. (ed.). Francesca da Rimini: A Tragedy. Belknap and Warfield, Hartford.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ Coustillas, Pierre ed. London and the Life of Literature in Late Victorian England: the Diary of George Gissing, Novelist. Brighton: Harvester Press, 1978, p.69.
  3. ^ Ford 1913.

Further reading

External links

See also …
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1818 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1818.


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Carlo Felice Biscarra

Carlo Felice Biscarra (March 26, 1823 – July 31, 1894) was an Italian painter and art critic.

Born in Turin, Carlo Felice initially trained with his father, Giovanni Battista, who was director of the Accademia Albertina. Carlo Felice received a pension from the Queen to study in Florence and Rome. In 1850, his first canvas Cola di Rienzo harangues the People of Rome was displayed and much admired at an exhibition at Castello del Valentino. Other works include Galileo Galilei before the Tribunal of the Inquisition; the Brothers Zuccato, Mosaicists (and tutors of Titian, in a Venetian Jail; Fanfulla addresses the armies in defense of Florence; Filippo Lippi in Barbary draws his captors; Giovanni Bellini discovers the secrets of oil painting; recato in Italia da Antonello di Messina; Maso Finiguerra learns how to engrave with burin; Youth of Carmagnola; The infancy of Lodovico Muratori; Silvio Pellico che dalle carceri di Murano s'avvia allo Spielberg; Giordano Bruno in Jail; Loves of the Angels; Medoro; Graziella; Desdemona; Clarino; The old street of Cenisio Capo Noli; and Pesca ai polipi.He traveled through Europe, and in Paris worked with the painter Ary Scheffer. In 1860 under Massimo d'Azeglio, he became secretary of the Accademia Albertina. He also helped found the Circolo degli Artisti di Torino, a painters' association. He collaborated with Luigi Rocca to publish the magazine L'Arte in Italia for five years till 1873. Biscarra translated a course of industrial and artistic design by G. Schreiber, and published on the history of the Academy and of the main works in the Royal Pinacoteca of Turin. He sponsored photography of the archeologic sites of the Piedmont. He died in Turin in 1894.

Federico Confalonieri

Count Federico Confalonieri (1785 – 10 December 1846) was an Italian revolutionist.

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Hermiona Asachi

Hermiona Asachi (December 16, 1821 – December 9, 1900) was a Romanian writer and translator.

The daughter of Gheorghe Asachi and Elena Tauber, she was born in Vienna. In 1840, she published a collection of stories from the Bible Istoria sfântă pentru tinerimea moldo-română. She translated texts by Silvio Pellico and Benjamin Franklin into Romanian for the publication Albina Românească. She moved to France in 1845, where she published Mémoires d’exile (1868) and Cinquante ans d’amitié: Michelet-Quinet under the name Hermiona Quimet. Asachi corresponded with various French intellectuals such as Victor Hugo, Jules Michelet and Louis Blanc.She was first married to Alexandru D. Moruzi. In 1852, she married the French historian Edgar Quinet. She edited some of Quinet's texts for publication.Asachi died in Paris at the age of 78.

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Il Conciliatore was a progressive bi-weekly scientific and literary journal, influential in the early Risorgimento. The journal was published in Milan from September 1818 until October 1819 when it was closed by the Austrian censors. Its writers included Ludovico di Breme, Giuseppe Nicolini and Silvio Pellico.

Italian Orienteering Federation

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List of Italian writers

This is a list of notable Italian writers, including novelists, essayists, poets, and other people whose primary artistic output was literature.

List of Romantic poets

The six best-known English authors are, in order of birth and with an example of their work:

William Blake – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

William Wordsworth – The Prelude

Samuel Taylor Coleridge – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

George Gordon, Lord Byron – Don Juan, "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"

Percy Bysshe Shelley – Prometheus Unbound, "Adonaïs", "Ode to the West Wind", "Ozymandias"

John Keats – Great Odes, "Hyperion", "Endymion"

Notable female poets include Felicia Dorothea Hemans, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Charlotte Turner Smith, Mary Robinson, Hannah More, and Joanna Baillie.

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Count Luigi Renato Porro-Lambertenghi (July 12, 1780 in Como – February 9, 1860 in Milan) was an Italian nationalist, businessman, and politician. He was the son of politician and essayist Luigi Lambertenghi (1739–1813).

He inherited Villa del Balbianello in 1796 from his uncle, Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini. Among his guests were Silvio Pellico, who tutored Lambertenghi's two sons there. When he was forced to leave Italy, Lambertenghi sold the villa to his friend, Giuseppe Visconti di Modrone, grandfather of Luchino Visconti. Lambertenghi's grandson, Count Giulio Porro-Lambertenghi, was among the dignitaries who attended the Canonization of Joan of Arc.

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Nicolae T. Orășanu (1833?–August 7, 1890) was a Wallachian-born Romanian poet, prose writer and newspaper editor.

Born in Craiova, he attended high school at Saint Sava College in the national capital Bucharest. As a young man, Orășanu entered politics and the newspaper business; his was a rebellious spirit that rejected autocracy and embraced being in opposition. Together with C. A. Rosetti, he edited Țânțarul in 1859. Then, on his own, he edited a series of satirical gazettes. These mainly had ingenious demonic titles: Spiriduș, Nichipercea, Cicala, Sarsailă, Urzicătorul, Asmodeu, but also Opiniunea națională, Daracul, Ghimpele, Farfara and Cucu. At the same time, he published brochures in the same style: Coarnele lui Nichipercea, Coada lui Nichipercea, Ochiul dracului, Codița dracului, Ghearele dracului. Orășanu signed either using his initials or pen names such as G. Palicaropol, Cetățenescu, Iago, Ioana lui Vișan, Văduva, Netto, Nicor, Odobașa and Orășenescu.Orășanu made his published debut early, with the 1854 volume Floricele de primăvară. This featured sentimental poems that formed a marked contrast to his biting temperament, yielding to the prevailing Romantic mood. His main literary preoccupation became the "rhymed chronicle", cultivated with a certain trivial verve and appearing in a series of brochures with parodic titles such as Misterele mahalalelor sau Cronica scandaloasă a orașului (vol. I-IX, 1857-1858), Târgul cu idei sau Buletinul Cișmegiului (vol. I-IX, 1857) and Trei feți logofeți sau Povestea lui Fâl-fâl-son (1857). Through such "verse novels", at least insofar as typology, attitude and vernacular style are concerned, Orășanu was a precursor to the literature of the slum. He was more successful as a memoirist, in the 1861 Întemnițările mele politice. He drew upon the example of Silvio Pellico to evoke his prison experiences, leavening his narrative with humor. In the brochure O pagină a vieții mele sau 22, 23 și 24 ianaurie 1859, another memoir, he claimed to have played a much-exaggerated role in the election as domnitor of Alexandru Ion Cuza. The writer later became an adversary of the ruler, directing the verse pamphlet Trefleac voivod against him.He translated works by Charles Paul de Kock (Sora Ana, 1856), Jean-Pierre Claris de Florian (Gonzalv de Cordova, 1858) and Jean-Louis Carra (Istoria Moldaviii și a Româniii). Orășanu worked as an inspector at the tobacco monopoly and then at the liquor taxation office, and was twice a manager at Monitorul Oficial and at the official press, Imprimeria Statului. Nevertheless, his financial situation was insecure. More than his writings, his biography makes Orășanu a very colorful figure during a period of transition. He died in Negreni, Olt County.

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Saluzzo (Italian pronunciation: [saˈluttso]; French: Saluces [salys]) is a town and former principality in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont region, Italy.

The city of Saluzzo is built on a hill overlooking a vast, well-cultivated plain. Iron, lead, silver, marble, slate etc. are found in the surrounding mountains.

On 1-1-2017 it had a population of 16 968.

Saluzzo was the birthplace of the writer Silvio Pellico and of typographer Giambattista Bodoni.

Sant'Agostino, Potenza Picena

Sant'Agostino is a Roman Catholic church and former monastery located on Via Silvio Pellico, in the historic center of the town of Potenza Picena, province of Macerata, in the region of Marche, Italy. The complex for some years included an elementary school.

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Scafati Basket, known for sponsorship reasons as Givova Scafati, is an Italian professional basketball club based in Scafati, Campania. It plays in the second-division Serie A2 as of the 2015–16 season.

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Thomas II (Italian: Tommaso del Vasto) (1304 – 18 August 1357) was Marquess of Saluzzo from 1336 to his death. He succeeded his father, Frederick I.

His mother Margarete de La Tour du Pin, a daughter of Humbert I de La Tour du Pin, Dauphin de Viennois.

His succession was disputed by his uncle Manfred. The ensuing war was part of the wider Guelf-Ghibelline conflict. Thomas, who had married a Visconti, was a Gibelline and Manfred a Guelf with the support of the Angevin King Robert of Naples. Robert therefore, to reduce Ghibelline (and Visconti) power in the north, advanced on Saluzzo and besieged it. He succeeded in taking it and sacking it, setting the city on fire and imprisoning Thomas, who had to pay a ransom. The whole dramatic event is recorded by Silvio Pellico.

In August 1347, he joined John II, Marquess of Montferrat and Humbert II of Viennois as they attacked Savoy and conquered the Angevin lands in northern Italy after the death of Robert. The 1348 treaty which resolved this war left none of the participants satisfied. Thomas now owed allegiance to Milan, as well as his prior allegiance to Savoy.Thomas was eventually succeeded by his son Frederick II.

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Villa del Balbianello

The Villa del Balbianello is a villa in the comune of Lenno (province of Como), Italy, overlooking Lake Como. It is located on the tip of the small wooded peninsula of Dosso d'Avedo on the western shore of the south-west branch of Lake Como, not far from the Isola Comacina and is famous for its elaborate terraced gardens.

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