The Byron Journal

Early Italian Romanticism & The Giaour

The Byron Journal (1976), 4, (1), 7–21.


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To Mr. Thomas Moore from Newstead Abbey, September 15, 1814. "Now for a little egotism. My affairs stand thus. Tomorrow I shall know whether a circumstance of importance enough to change many of my plans will occur or not. If it does not, I am off for Italy next month…. I have paid some of my debts, and contracted others; but I have a few thousand pounds, which I can't spend after my own heart in this climate, and so, I shall go back to the south. Hobhouse, I think and hope, will go with me; but, whether he will or not, I shall. I want to see Venice, and the Alps, and Parmesan cheeses, and look at the coast of Greece, or rather Epirus, from Italy, as I once did — or fancied I did — that of Italy, when off Corfu." Thomas Moore, The Life of Lord Byron (London: John Murray, 1854), p. 263. Google Scholar

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Byron a Self-Portrait, ed. Peter Quennell (New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1950), p. 363. Byron a Self-Portrait 363 Google Scholar

A note of irony: the Biblioteca Italiana was published under the auspices of the Austrians who, because of the liberal and nationalistic ideas of the Romantics, were solidly anti-Romantic. Google Scholar

The Romantic-Classical polemic between Di Breme and Londonio lines up this way: Di Breme agrees with Madame de Stäel's article calling for translations and new poetic models in his "Intorno ali'ingiustizia di alcuni giudizi letterari italiani" (1816). Londonio defends his views against Di Breme's statements in "Cenni critici sulla poesia Romantica" (1817). This is answered by Di Breme in "Osservazioni sul Giaurro del Byron" published first in Lo Spettatore and then as an introduction to Rossi's translation of The Giaour in 1818. Londonio counters with "Appendice ai ‘Cenni critici sulla poesia romantica’" (1818). Di Breme ends his campaign with "Postille sull'Appendice ai ‘Cenni critici sulla poesia romantica’" (1818). The controversy between Londonio and Di Breme is reprinted in Ludovico di Breme, Polemiche (Torino: U.T.E.T., 1923) and Aldo Borlenghi, La polemica sul Romanticismo (Padova: R.A.D.A.R., 1968). The fact that Byron is not mentioned in Di Breme's first article, written in the early months of 1816, leads one to conclude that it was Byron's presence in Italy, and his acquaintance with Di Breme and others, which precipitated the interest in his poetry. Google Scholar

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Riccardo Massano, Romanticismo italiano e cultura Europea (Torino: G. Giappichelli, 1970), p. cxiv-cxv. Romanticismo italiano e cultura Europea cxiv cxv Google Scholar

Ilario Rinieri, Della vita e delle opere di Silvio Pellico (Torino: Streglio, 1898), Vol. 1, pp. 210-11. Della vita e delle opere di Silvio Pellico 1 210 11 Google Scholar

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Author details

King, Martha