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The Betrothed Paperback

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1484891988
  • ISBN-13: 978-1484891988
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 345 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #346,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Manzoni's The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi) is generally considered
to
be the greatest Italian novel of all time. I read it aloud
to my 9-year-old daughter and we were both enthralled. It is
set in the environs of Milan in the early 17th century (it
was written in the 18th century). The framing story concerns
young lovers whose marriage is thwarted by a local nobelman/
petty tyrant in order to win a bet. Subordinate stories
range from political, economic and biographical analyses of the times to
a vivid, eye-opening description of a plague outbreak and the official denial
that exacerbated it. Penman's English translation is superb.
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Format: Paperback
Allesandro Manzoni's THE BETROTHED is rightfully considered one of the great novels in Italian history, if not the greatest. It is also one of the greatest historical novels ever written. Manzoni magnificently blends together a score of memorable characters with a string of vividly rendered historical events to provide an epic story of frustrated lovers in Italy during the Thirty Years Wars in the early 17th century when the state of Milan was occupied by the Spanish Habsburgs. The result is a great story placed against the background of a turbulent period in Italian history. The choice of that period of time is fascinating in itself. Instead of dealing with one of the more glorious periods of Italian history, such as the 15th or 16th centuries, Manzoni chose the relatively undistinguished 17th, during a time when much of Italy suffered under foreign rule, while many of the other city states were in a period of decline.
Few novels that I know deal with historical topics as magnificently as this one. One has to go to a writer like Tolstoy to find scenes as memorable as the tremendous scene in the Lazaretto in which Fra Cristoforo admonishes Renzo for his desire for revenge, with thousands of people dying of the plague surrounding them. Nearly as powerful is Manzoni's masterful depiction of the bread riots in Milan or the way he describes the progress of the German army in its passage through the region on its way to Mantua. Although one hardly reads the novel for the history lessons it provides, one learns an unusually large amount.
I am a bit perplexed as the criticism that the novel contains too much in the way of Christian redemption in the latter part of the novel. Of course it does.
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By A Customer on Aug. 8 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the most famous book in Italian literature. Most students hate it, but their opinion just doesn't count because for them it is but brutal forced reading. Manzoni's "The Betrothed" can be enjoyed on various levels. In the first place, it is packed with action: there's the good guy, the imperiled damsel, the arch-villain, the saintly friar and various comic characters like the cowardly priest and his spinster-servant. The plot is tipically Nineteenth Century: the loving couple can't get married because the arch-villain gets in their way and starts all the tribulations. On the other hand, the whole plot can be seen as a religious parable (and that is why students hate this book: they are forced to see the whole matter from this point of view ONLY.) on Providence. Thirdly, the book can be seen as an authoritative historical text about the Sixteenth Century. Unlike his colleague Walter Scott, whose Middle Ages look like a Hollywood movie starring Liz Taylor, Manzoni wrote "The Betrothed" after a serious hystorical reserach: almost every episode is historically based and he made use of Sixteenth-century chronicles and laws as a basis for his story's context. On top of this, the characters aren't mere literary creations. They are alive and pop out of every page as living creatures with all their humanity. Everything in them denounces Manzoni as a keen observer of the human heart. I highly recommend this book. Buy it and enjoy it!
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Format: Paperback
Having just finished war and peace, I wondered would could possibly be better? Then, on hearing that "the betrothed" was of equal merit as a historical novel, i gave it a test drive. Like Tolstoy, Manzoni is a master of detail and character. Not only is this an enthralling story and a good record of an very turbulent period of Italy's past, but is also deeply religious. I find myself left breathless after just about each chapter. Reading "I Promessi Esposi" makes me proud to be catholic. this book awoke me from my dogmatic slumber. Now I know that Faith is jsut as important as reason.
I would say this kind of book should be required reading in high school, but it's to good for that.
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Format: Paperback
This book is, if I am not mistaken, considered one of the greatest pieces of Italian literature. The characters are enjoyably human, the pace keeps you interested, and the writer paints an excellent picture of the times. You see renaissance Italy with its plagues, religious uproar, and swaggering bravos.
Since religion is a very emotional issue for me, I was tempted to give the book a three or two rating. In fairness, it deserves at least the four I gave it. It describes the period beautifully and gives perfect exemplars for many different modes of behavior.
Here are my criticisms. If you haven't read the story, these will spoil it, so have a care. I have three: First, the conversion of the master villian struck me as horrendously done. He is touched by the innocent pleading and prayers of his victim. Personally, I find it laughable that a man of such black reputation has never encountered similar circumstances before. Why should this person's naive pleas for clemency be any different? Second, the conversion of the Unnamed can be compared to Darth Vader's salvation at the end of the film Return of the Jedi. Everyone is ecstatic over the redemption of this evil figure, only because of his power and charisma. Just as no one cared for the other 100,000 troops that died on the Death Star, the bishop who visits the new convert spares a paltry few words for all of his underlings and their spiritual welfare. The bishop does not visit them. The people are not thankful when they convert. We are thrilled when an archvillian switches allegiances, but like Manzoni, we couldn't care less about the salvation of any of his lesser followers. This supposed Christian triumph is in fact only an illustration of human fascination with power.
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