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Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Biography of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

He was born 23rd December 1896 in Palermo, from an aristocratic family (of the Princes of Lampedusa, Dukes of Palma and Montechiaro). In April 1915 he enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Rome, but in November of the same year was called to arms: he fought in the First World War, was taken prisoner in November 1917 and only twelve months later, after escaping from the prisoner of war camp - did he succeed in returning to Italy. Dismissed from the army with the rank of lieutenant, he returned to Palermo in 1920. Over the next decade he travelled extensively throughout Italy and abroad, sometimes alone, on other occasions with his mother; during one such trip to London in 1925, he met Princess Licy Wolff Stomersee, a student of psychoanalysis, at the Italian embassy; seven years later he was to marry her in the orthodox church in Riga. After doing his duty for his country again in the Second World War and seeing his childhood home destroyed by the bombings, Giuseppe and his consort moved - after various difficulties - to via Butera, in Palermo. During the Fifties, he befriended a group of individuals who frequented the house of the Baron Sgadari di Lo Monaco: Francesco Agnello, Francesco Orlando, Antonio Pasqualino and above all Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi.
At the end of 1954, he began writing "Il Gattopardo"; in June of the following year, he interrupted the novel in order to concentrate on another work "Places of my Infancy: a memory", only to take the novel up again in November. Later, he was to work on other books ("Joy and Law", "The Siren", the first chapter of his new novel "The blind kittens"): but in April 1957 he was diagnosed as having a tumour on his right lung, a condition that led to his death on 23 July of the same year (his body was buried 28th July in the family burial ground in the Capuchin brothers' cemetery). Rejected for publication by Mondadori, "The Leopard" was finally published in 1958 by Feltrinelli, thanks to the active interest and determination of Giorgio Bassani. Instantly a huge success, the book won the Strega Prize in 1959.

F.T.

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Biography

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Biography of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

He was born 23rd December 1896 in Palermo, from an aristocratic family (of the Princes of Lampedusa, Dukes of Palma and Montechiaro). In April 1915 he enrolled in the Faculty of Law at the University of Rome, but in November of the same year was called to arms: he fought in the First World War, was taken prisoner in November 1917 and only twelve months later, after escaping from the prisoner of war camp - did he succeed in returning to Italy. Dismissed from the army with the rank of lieutenant, he returned to Palermo in 1920. Over the next decade he travelled extensively throughout Italy and abroad, sometimes alone, on other occasions with his mother; during one such trip to London in 1925, he met Princess Licy Wolff Stomersee, a student of psychoanalysis, at the Italian embassy; seven years later he was to marry her in the orthodox church in Riga. After doing his duty for his country again in the Second World War and seeing his childhood home destroyed by the bombings, Giuseppe and his consort moved - after various difficulties - to via Butera, in Palermo. During the Fifties, he befriended a group of individuals who frequented the house of the Baron Sgadari di Lo Monaco: Francesco Agnello, Francesco Orlando, Antonio Pasqualino and above all Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi.
At the end of 1954, he began writing "Il Gattopardo"; in June of the following year, he interrupted the novel in order to concentrate on another work "Places of my Infancy: a memory", only to take the novel up again in November. Later, he was to work on other books ("Joy and Law", "The Siren", the first chapter of his new novel "The blind kittens"): but in April 1957 he was diagnosed as having a tumour on his right lung, a condition that led to his death on 23 July of the same year (his body was buried 28th July in the family burial ground in the Capuchin brothers' cemetery). Rejected for publication by Mondadori, "The Leopard" was finally published in 1958 by Feltrinelli, thanks to the active interest and determination of Giorgio Bassani. Instantly a huge success, the book won the Strega Prize in 1959.

F.T.

logorai.gif (2283 byte)
trasp.gif (837 byte)

Italica is a Rai International production. The material displayed on this site is protected by copyright and is available for informative purposes only