Novelist, language theorist, poet, and dramatist, Alessandro Manzoni embodies the literary, linguistic and political concerns of nineteenth-century Italy. Best known for his I promessi sposi (The Betrothed, 1840), an epic tale of contested love, war, plague and famine set in seventeenth-century Spanish-ruled Milan, Manzoni also celebrated major historical events in his poetry and plays. “Il cinque maggio” (“The Fifth of May”, 1821), an ode on the death of Napoleon, remains one of the most popular lyric poems of all time. Manzoni’s best known tragedies also reveal the author’s predilection for refiguring the past: “Il conte di Carmagnola” (“The Count of Carmagnola”, 1819) tells the tale of a mercenary soldier’s life and death in fifteenth-century Venice, and…

2256 words

Citation: Carolan, Mary Ann McDonald. "Alessandro Manzoni". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 March 2010 [, accessed 09 December 2023.]

2925 Alessandro Manzoni 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.