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The Betrothed: A Novel


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About the Author

Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) is best known for his novel The Betrothed, which ranks among the masterpieces of world literature. It was first published in 1827 and then in 1842 in a revised edition. Manzoni was also a poet, prolific essayist, and playwright. In his life and in his writing, he was committed to the cause of Italian independence and the forging of a modern Italian identity, culture, and language.

Michael F. Moore'spublished translations range from twentieth-century classics-Agostino by Alberto Moravia and The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi-to contemporary novels. Moore is the former chair of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund and has a PhD in Italian from New York University. For many years he was also an interpreter at the United Nations and a full-time staff member of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN.


“An important new translation . . . It feels strange to have had a bona fide canonical classic hiding in plain sight for all these years. But with [Michael F.] Moore’s vigorous and companionable translation, the book is now here for everyone to see. . . . Now the English-speaking world can discover what the fuss is all about.”—The Wall Street Journal

“The Betrothed emerges in the new translation as a work that anyone who cares about nineteenth-century fiction should want to read. It has the great events—war, famine, plague—and the record of their impact on humble people. It has the sentimentality: demure maidens and brave lads and black-hearted villains. It has passages of lyrical description and passages where the specificity of detail verges on the sociological. It has the prolixity, annoying to some, comforting to others. In other words, it is an exemplary historical novel.”—The New Yorker

“Michael F. Moore’s new version strikes me as remarkable, extraordinarily well pitched, finding the right levels of colloquialism and eloquence. Moore preserves the heteroglossia of the novel, its rich impasto of spoken and written styles whose incompatibility is one of its deep subjects. And he manages to catch Manzoni’s narrative voice, which is not easy to characterize.”—Peter Brooks, The New York Review of Books

“This is not just a book; it offers consolation to the whole of humanity.”—Giuseppe Verdi


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