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The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa

The Leopard (original 1958; edition 2010)

by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, Archibald Colquhoun (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,829861,348 (4.1)345
Title:The Leopard
Authors:Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
Other authors:Archibald Colquhoun (Translator)
Info:Harvill Secker (2010), Edition: Limited cenetenary ed, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, In Translation, Audiobook

Work details

The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa (1958)

  1. 70
    Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (roby72)
  2. 40
    The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth (Rebeki)
    Rebeki: 19th-century Europe, mourning of a lost era
  3. 41
    The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal (P_S_Patrick)
    P_S_Patrick: These two books have a fair bit in common, though much is different between them too. They both are set in Italy and are concerned with court and family life, with politics, and the state of the country at the time they were written. The Charterhouse is set mainly in the north, around Milan, Parma, and Lake Como, near the Swiss border, in the first half of the 19th Century. The Leopard is set in the South, much of it in Sicily, starting over halfway through the 19th Century and ending in the next one. Stendhal writes dramatically about adventures and high emotions, whereas Lampedusa is far less baroque about it and writes with greater reserve and elegance. Together these books complement each other and give the reader a reasonably balanced view of Italian life over around a 100 years. Readers are likely to prefer one book over the other, but I am sure that if they enjoyed one they are very likely to enjoy the other. There are passages in the Charterhouse that outshine the best in the Leopard, but I prefer the latter due to it being nearer to perfection when taken as a whole.… (more)
  4. 41
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (Eustrabirbeonne)
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    Swann's Way by Marcel Proust (chrisharpe)
  6. 20
    Bomarzo by Manuel Mujica Lainez (pacocillero)
    pacocillero: Nos dous casos son mundos en decadencia aínda que con varios séculos de diferencia.
  7. 10
    The last leopard: a life of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa by David Gilmour (sorbetandstuff)
    sorbetandstuff: A biography of Giuseppe di Lampedusa and his lost world that's as elegant and haunting as The Leopard itself.
  8. 10
    Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa: A Biography Through Images by Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi (rvdm61)
  9. 21
    Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev (JamesAbdulla)
  10. 21
    Christ Stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi (defaults)
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    The viceroys by Federico De Roberto (roby72)
  12. 00
    Lanterns on the levee : recollections of a planter's son by William Alexander Percy (pitjrw)
    pitjrw: Two elegies to disappearing elites and the societies they led.
  13. 01
    Shakespeare by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (Eustrabirbeonne)
  14. 01
    The Stone Boudoir: Travels through the Hidden Villages of Sicily by Theresa Maggio (marieke54)
    marieke54: Among those old villages: the inhabited remnants and replacements of Santa Margherita di Belice,(< earthquake 1968), Lampedusa's village. The other villages are like what St. M. once was.
  15. 13
    The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles (Eustrabirbeonne)

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» See also 345 mentions

English (63)  Italian (6)  Dutch (6)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Hebrew (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (86)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
I saw the Visconti film adaptation of this back in October 2013, and liked it enough to think it worth reading the novel on which it was based. Which is, according to Wikipedia, “considered one of the most important novels in modern Italian literature”. The story takes place in the 1860s on Sicily, during the unification of Italy. It’s about the Salina family, particularly the head of the family, Prince Fabrizio, who represents the old order, and his nephew and putative heir, Prince Tancredi, who first joins Garibaldi’s Redshirts and then the army of the king of Sardinia (who goes onto become king of Italy). While the family is holidaying in their palace at Donnafugata, Tancredi meets Angelica, daughter of the local mayor (a successful and corrupt local landowner), and marries her. When Fabrizio is asked to join the new kingdom’s senate, he refuses and recommends the mayor, as he considers him more in tune with the coming times. There’s a Lawrentian atmosphere to much of The Leopard – especially when Prince Fabrizio goes hunting while at Donnafugata – but it’s also a much more political novel than anything Lawrence wrote. Now I want to watch the film again. ( )
1 vote iansales | May 26, 2015 |
An amazing book - I was hooked from the very first page and couldn't put it down - you wouldn't have thought that a novel about the end of the Sicilian feudal system would so riveting, melancholy and beautiful . ( )
  lee-mervin | Apr 12, 2015 |
Don Fabrizio is a Prince in Sicilian society at a time of great change, the reunification of Italy in the 1860s. Italy's class system is being eroded by the rise of the middle-class. The Prince is forced to chose between upholding the old ways and breaking with traditions to secure a future. The Prince chooses not to chance his or his family's lifestyle and does not tell his family of their worsening financial condition. As political and financial revolution sweep over society, the Prince's family sinks into bitterness and isolation. However, in their final moments, both the Prince and the Prince's daughter realize that by surrendering to change and embracing its potential, they can find true joy.
  ktoonen | Feb 6, 2015 |
A truly elegant book about the decline and fall of a noble Sicilian family, the Salinas, during the Risorgimento, primarily through the eyes of the head of the family Prince Fabrizio. The prose is lush but just saves itself from being overwrought, and the narrator is cynically observant of every human emotion and interaction. The book speaks a great deal about the history and attitudes that the Sicilians have accumulated over the past three thousand years, always being dominated, taxed, and oppressed by outsiders, from Romans and Aragonese, Angevine and Moor, and now Bourbons and then Romans again. Highly recommended for those with an interest in Italian history, but also for its beautiful and insightful writing. ( )
  belgrade18 | Dec 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
What makes The Leopard an immortal book is that it kisses perfection full on the mouth. Its major theme – the workings of mortality – is explored with an intelligence and poignancy rarely equalled and never, to my knowledge, surpassed.

» Add other authors (52 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lampedusa, Giuseppe Diprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexanderson, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barreiros, José ColaçoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Birnbaum, CharlotteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Codignoto, LeonardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Colqhoun, ArchibaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gutiérrez, FernandoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meli, RodolfoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Romein-Hütschler, J.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Romein-Hütschler, J.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuulio, TyyniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Grateful acknowledgment is made to Principessa Alessandra di Lampedusa for her help in the translation. A.C.
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'Nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.'
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Attribuire ad altri la propria infelicità è l'ultimo ingannevole filtro dei disperati.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375714790, Paperback)

In Sicily in 1860, as Italian unification grows inevitable, the smallest of gestures seems dense with meaning and melancholy, sensual agitation and disquiet: "Some huge irrational disaster is in the making." All around him, the prince, Don Fabrizio, witnesses the ruin of the class and inheritance that already disgust him. His favorite nephew, Tancredi, proffers the paradox, "If we want things to stay as they are, they will have to change," but Don Fabrizio would rather take refuge in skepticism or astronomy, "the sublime routine of the skies."

Giuseppe di Lampedusa, also an astronomer and a Sicilian prince, was 58 when he started to write The Leopard, though he had had it in his mind for 25 years. E. M. Forster called his work "one of the great lonely books." What renders it so beautiful and so discomfiting is its creator's grasp of human frailty and, equally, of Sicily's arid terrain--"comfortless and irrational, with no lines that the mind could grasp, conceived apparently in a delirious moment of creation; a sea suddenly petrified at the instant when a change of wind had flung waves into frenzy." The author died at the age of 60, soon after finishing The Leopard, though he did live long enough to see it rejected as unpublishable.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:43 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Italian literary classic set in Sicily in 1860. A prince watches as unification grows.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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