Author(s): Iris Origo
Giacomo Leopardi is widely considered the greatest Italian poet since Dante. Writer, philosopher, essayist and philologist, he was one of the most radical and challenging thinkers of the 19th century. An engaging, highly readable biographer, Origo brings us Leopardi the poet, but also Leopardi the nineteeth-century romantic par excellence - a precocious genius who had written tragedies, poetry, and philosophical treatises by the age of sixteen and who later suffered debilitating illness (he called himself "a walking sepulchre"). Iris Origo's masterful biography is an incisive psychological portrait of the melancholy, semi-cloistered, hunchback poet whose genius, pain, and frustrated hopes found their outlet in poetry admired for its brilliance, intensity and seemingly effortless musicality.
Origo evokes the bittersweet, unlived life with... sympathy and clarity Publishers Weekly A meticulous and at times inspired biographer Spectator Sympathetic and discerning, devoted to her subject yet recognising his considerable faults of character, expert at sifting evidence and settling old controversies, she is the ideal biographer Spectator A sublime wordsmith and an astute and passionate observer of human behavior New York Times One of Leopardi's most perceptive biographies Open Letters Arts and Literature Review
Iris Origo (1902-1988) was a British-born biographer and writer. She lived in Italy and devoted much of her life to the improvement of the Tuscan estate at La Foce, which she purchased with her husband in the 1920s. During WWII, she sheltered refugee children and assisted many escaped Allied prisoners of war and partisans in defiance of Italy's fascist regime and Nazi occupation forces. Pushkin Press also publishes her war diaries, War in Val D'Orcia, her memoir, Images and Shadows, as well as another of her biographies, The Last Attachment.