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Presentation of "La ragazza di Marsiglia" by Maria Attanasio

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Italian Cultural Institute

39 Belgrave Square

London

SW1X 8NX

United Kingdom

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Presentation of the book La ragazza di Marsiglia (The Girl from Marseille) by Maria Attanasio

The author will be in conversation with Simonetta Agnello Hornby

Who was Rosalia Montmasson, this forgotten protagonist of the Risorgimento? Exiled in Marseille, Rosalia, a young laundress from Borbonic Sicily, met in 1849 Franscesco Crispi, a republican patriot, who later became her husband. She followed him thorough several exiles and shared his liberal ideals. Rosalia was the only woman admitted to participate to la Spedizione dei Mille (Expedition of the Thousand), as explicitly requested by General Garibaldi. After the Italian unification and the time spent in Rome during Crispi’s work with the Government, however, she was repudiated by her husband, who had in the meantime betrayed his republican ideals. The woman patriot ended her days in extreme poverty and for a long time her story was unknown.

Now, with this absorbing historic novel, Maria Attanasio restores voice and identity to the heroine of the Risorgimento, presenting her through the lens of misery and greatness which led to the Italian Unification.

Event in Italian with simultaneous translation in English

Maria Attanasio was born in Caltagirone in 1943. She was a teacher and a headmaster and has been contributing to magazines and newspapers. She is the author of poems (Interni, 1979; Nero barocco nero, 1985; Eros e mente, 1996; Amnesia del movimento delle nuvole, 2003) and of novels (Correva l’anno 1698 e nella città avvenne il fatto memorabile, 1994; Piccole cronache di un secolo, 1997; Di Concetta e le sue donne, 1999; Il falsario di Caltagirone, 2007; Il condominio di Via della Notte, 2013 and La ragazza di Marsiglia, 2018). She collaborates with many journals and newspapers and has been active on the Italian political scene.

Simonetta Agnello Hornby was born in Palermo, Sicily. She has lived in London for over 45 years, working as a family lawyer: in 1979 she co-founded Hornby & Levy, the first law firm specialized in cases of violence within the family, which published in 1997 The Caribbean’s Children Law Project, a study that is still unique today. Her first book The Almond Picker (Penguin) was an international best seller, translated in nineteen languages, winner of many literary awards. In addition to her novels, she has written on Italian food and culinary traditions.

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Italian Cultural Institute

39 Belgrave Square

London

SW1X 8NX

United Kingdom

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