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Author: Emanuela Fontana
Pages: 372 p., Paperback
Language: Italian text
How are the fates of a young nanny and the most famous novel in the history of Italian literature linked? To find out, we must step into a noble palace in Florence in 1838, where a girl named Emilia Luti, unmarried and fatherless, shuttles day and night between the children's room and the Vieusseux Literary Cabinet to support her mother and younger sisters, in the dual role of nanny and library assistant. When Massimo d'Azeglio met her in his friend's salon, he was struck by her frank manners and her pure Florentine and proposed that she follow him to Milan to take care of little Rina, the child he had from his first wife Giulietta, Alessandro Manzoni's daughter. This is how Emilia makes her fearful entrance into the house of the writer who has already won the hearts of thousands of readers with his Promessi sposi (The Betrothed). The novel has been a success, but he is not satisfied. He has taken it into his head to reprint it in an illustrated edition and to completely revise the language, to bring it even closer to a Florentine capable of speaking to everyone, 'a language that becomes the language of Italians'.