Verdi, by Pierre Milza

Pierre Milza, who unfortunately passed away in February 2018, is one of Italy’s most brilliant historians. I devoured his biographies of Garibaldi, Mussolini, Napoleon III. I have just done the same with his book on Verdi. For me, as an opera lover, Verdi is a demigod. Milza replaces him in the historical and political context of his time, that of the risorgimento, the unification of Italy under the leadership of Cavour and King Victor-Emmanuel II. He describes the role of Verdi as the herald of Italian independence and unification through his operas, more or less voluntarily. To the point that his very name became an anti-Austrian and unionist motto: Viva Verdi was the acronym of Viva Vittorio Emanuele Re D’Italia (Long live Victor Emmanuel King of Italy). An exciting book, written with all the rigour of a great historian. Unfortunately, I fear that this book has not yet been translated into English.

Pierre Milza

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *