Of tyranny

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University of Toronto Press, 1961 - Political Science - 120 pages
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Forethought by the Author
What Is a Tyrant?

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About the author (1961)

Born in Asti in the Italian Piedmont, Alfieri came into great wealth at age 14. He roamed across Europe, until his meeting with the Princess of Albany, the wife and then the widow of England's Young Pretender, changed his life. Originally, Alfieri wrote in French as well as Italian, but as he became conscious of what he felt was the tragic fate of Italy in the modern world, he devoted himself to perfecting his mastery of the Italian language and to employing it as a national literary prophet. Alfieri came to be seen as the embodiment of along-suppressed dream of Italian renewal, hailed as such in Italy even before his death, and accepted in that role with great enthusiasm by many in England as well as in the United States. Alfieri saw himself as Italy's fifth greatest poet, after Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, and Tasso. Because of the high austerity of his poetry, many, like Thomas Babington Macaulay , saw him instead linked directly to Dante. Alfieri wrote almost two dozen tragedies, six comedies, and many sonnets, satires, and odes, including five on American independence. His Bruto Primo (1787) was dedicated to George Washington, whom he considered the liberator of America. A posthumously published autobiography has gradually come to overshadow his purely literary works as an expression of his presence in Italy's spiritual and literary history.

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