Lucia and her Sisters: Women in Alessandro Manzoni’s I promessi sposi

  • Verina R. Jones
Part of the University of Reading European and International Studies book series (UREIS)


This chapter will examine the construction of one of the most famous women characters in Italian fiction. Lucia Mondella is the lower-class heroine of Manzoni’s historical novel The Betrothed [I promessi sposi], written in the early nineteenth century and regarded as the first great novel in modern Italian literature. Manzoni’s stated aim in undertaking a historical novel, a genre new to him as well as alien until then to the Italian literary tradition, was essentially one of historical knowledge, and, one might say, of historical justice. He had become convinced that this kind of fiction would make it possible to explore the past lives of the lower classes, to reconstruct the impact that History had made on those who had been unable to write their own history.


Female Character Innocent Victim Happy Ending Related Noun Historical Justice 
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© Zygmunt G. Barański and Shirley W. Vinall 1991

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  • Verina R. Jones

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