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Lampedusa, Giuseppe di

sicilian prince novel

(Italian, 1896–1957)

Giuseppe Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa, was an erudite, cultured Sicilian who wrote just one novel which was published soon after his death—The Leopard (1958). Based on historical fact and on his own family's recent past, it is set at the time of the unification of Italy after the invasion of Garibaldi in 1860, and concerns the profound changes taking place in Sicilian social and class structures. Told from the point of view of Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, it is an elegant and elegiac story, with wonderful descriptions of the Sicilian countryside, its villages and grand houses. Widely regarded as an almost perfect novel, it contains the quote: ‘If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.’ In its widespread popularity, it was the Captain Corelli's Mandolin of its day.

Morris West, Graham Greene, Italo Calvino. See HISTORICAL  FS

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