My Ten Years` Imprisonment (Dodo Press)

Silvio Pellico

Silvio Pellico (1789-1854) was an Italian writer, poet, dramatist and patriot. His tragedy Francesca da Rimini was brought out with success by Carlotta Marchionni at Milan in 1818. Its publication was followed by that of the tragedy Euphemio da Messina, but the representation of the latter was forbidden. In 1820 he was arrested on the charge of carbonarism and conveyed to the Santa Margherita prison. After his removal to the Piombi at Venice in 1821, he composed several Cantiche and the tragedies Ester dEngaddi and Iginici dAsti. His chief work during this part of his imprisonment was the tragedy Leoniero da Dertona, for the preservation of which he was compelled to rely on his memory. After his release in 1830 he commenced the publication of his prison compositions, of which the Ester was played at Turin in 1831, but immediately suppressed. In 1832 appeared his Gismonda da Mendrizio, Erodiade and the Leoniero, under the title of Tre Nuove Tragedie, and in the same year the work which gave him his European fame, Le Mie Prigioni, an account of his sufferings in prison.