Day 3The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
February 23, 2023 by Michael F. Moore
Chapter 2 opens with this comparison between the greater war outside—the War of the Mantuan Succession that will consume the area—and the war inside Don Abbondio’s head.
Page 26. “Lorenzo, or Renzo, as everyone called him, did not keep Don Abbondio waiting.”
Take a look at this page in the original edition. Is this a graphic novel?
Manzoni presents some of the main characters with ¼ or ½ page illustrations, which he commissioned from Francesco Gonin. I spent a lot of my childhood in the public library of our small town. When I “graduated” from the children’s room to the grown-ups room upstairs, I was heartbroken to discover that adult books had no pictures. (Today, I’m amused by the diligence of our local librarians, who classified books according to the author’s real name: Samuel Clemens rather than Mark Twain, Mary Ann Evans rather than George Eliot.)
Lucia receives an equally theatrical introduction (and a ½ page illustration):
She is the quiet introvert to Renzo’s extrovert. “Oh, Renzo!” is all she has to say in response to his demand for an explanation.