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Grazia Deledda (September
27, 1871—August 15, 1936) was a Italian writer whose
works won her a Nobel
Prize for Literature in 1926.
Born in Nuoro,
into a bourgeois family, she attended elementary school and then was
educated by a private tutor (a guest of one of her relatives) and moved on
literature on her own.
She first published some novels on
the magazine L'ultima moda when
it still published works in prose and poetry. Nell'azzurro, published
by Trevisani in 1890 might be considered as her first work.
Still between prose and poetry are, among the first works, Paesaggi
sardi, published by Speirani in 1896. In 1900, after having married
Palmiro Madesani, functionary of the Ministry of War met in Cagliari in
the October of 1899, the writer moved to Rome and
after the publishing of Anime
oneste in 1895 and of Il
vecchio della montagna in
1900, plus the collaboration with magazines La
Sardegna, Piccola rivista and Nuova
Antologia, her work began to gain critical interest.
In 1903 she published Elias
Portolu that confirmed her as
a writer and started her work as a successful writer of novels and
theatrical works: Cenere (1904), L'edera (1908), Sino
al confine (1911), Colombo
e sparvieri (1912), Canne
al vento (1913), L'incendio
nell'oliveto(1918), Il Dio
dei venti (1922).
Cenere was the
inspiration for a movie with
the famous Italian actress Eleonora
She died in Rome at
the age of 64.
Her work has been highly regarded by Luigi
Capuana and Giovanni
Verga plus some younger
writers such as Enrico
Pancrazi and Renato
Deledda's whole work is based on strong facts of love, pain and death upon
which rests the feeling of sin and of an inevitable fatality.
In her works we can recognize the influence of the verism of Giovanni
Verga and, sometimes, also
that of the decadentism by Gabriele
In Deledda's novels there is always a strong connection between places and
people, feelings and environment.
The environment depicted is that one harsh of native Sardinia,
but it is not depicted according to regional veristic schemes neither
according to the otherworldly vision by D'Annunzio, but relived through the
Davy was born at Penzance in Cornwall on
17 December 1778. The parish register of Madron (the
parish church) records ‘Humphry Davy, son of Robert Davy, baptized at Penzance,
January 22nd, 1779.’ Robert Davy was a wood-carver at Penzance, who pursued
his art rather for amusement than profit. As the representative of an old
family (monuments to his ancestors in Ludgvan
Church date as far back as 1635), he became possessor of a modest patrimony.
His wife, Grace Millet, came of an old but no longer wealthy family. Her
parents died within a few hours of each other from malignant fever, whereupon
Grace and her two sisters were adopted by John Tonkin, an eminent surgeon in
Penzance. Robert Davy and his wife became the parents of five children — two
boys, Humphry, the eldest, and John,
and three girls. In Davy's childhood the family moved from Penzance to Varfell,
their family estate in Ludgvan. Davy's boyhood was spent partly with his
parents and partly with Tonkin, who placed him at a preparatory school kept by
a Mr. Bushell, who was so much struck with the boy's progress that he
persuaded the father to send him to a better school. Davy was at an early age
placed at the Penzance Grammar School, then under the care of the Rev. J. C.
Coryton. Numerous anecdotes show that Davy was a precocious boy, possessing a
remarkable memory and being singularly rapid in acquiring knowledge of books.
He was especially attracted by the ‘Pilgrim's
Progress,’ and he delighted in reading history. When but eight years
of age he would collect a number of boys, and standing on a cart in the
market-place address them on the subject of his latest reading. He delighted
in the folklore of this remote district, and became, as he himself tells us, a
‘tale-teller.’ The ‘applause of my companions,’ he says, ‘was my recompense
for punishments incurred for being idle.’ These conditions developed a love of
poetry and the composition of verses and ballads.
At the same time Davy acquired a taste for experimental science. This was
mainly due to a member of the Society
of Friends named Robert
Dunkin, a saddler and a man of original mind and of the most varied
acquirements. Dunkin constructed for himself an electrical machine, voltaic
piles, and Leyden
jars, and made models illustrative of the principles of mechanics. By the
aid of these appliances he instructed Davy in the rudiments of science. As
professor at the Royal
Institution, Davy repeated many of the ingenious experiments which he had
learned from his Quaker instructor. From the Penzance school Davy went in 1793
and finished his education under the Rev. Dr. Cardew, who, in a letter to Davies
Gilbert, says: ‘I could not discern the faculties by which he was
afterwards so much distinguished.’ Davy says himself: ‘I consider it fortunate
I was left much to myself as a child, and put upon no particular plan of
study. … What I am I made myself.’