Top positive review
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An essential classic of Italian literature - and a good read
on 18 January 1999
This is the essential nineteenth century Italian classic novel. Manzoni shares many of the qualities of Scott, Thackeray and Tolstoy in the breadth of his vision and the way he plays with the conventions of the novel form itself. The sensibility of the novel is essentially Catholic,but Manzoni is far from a blinkered adherent ofall the practices of the Church: he has harsh portraits of cowardly priests and immoralnuns - famously the Nun of Monza - but he does reveal the operations of Christian goodness and effectively portrays redemption of the most wicked. The novel recounts the fate of two innocent young lovers who are separated by the lust-driven machinations of an oppressive overlord. After many a trial both physical and moral, they are reunited.