Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) was born to minor aristocracy in a sleepy backwater of the Italian Marches; he preferred study in his father's enormous library to the normal pleasures of youth. By 22 he had mastered seven languages, translated the classics, written a treatise on astronomy and composed a long poem in ancient Greek. His learning outstripped the tutors engaged to prepare him for the priesthood, and indeed that of most scholars. The self-styled 'walking sepulchre' came to despise the consolations of religion, to compose satiric fables, and to periodically fall in love with women who hardly noticed him. When eventually allowed to visit Rome, he was profoundly disappointed, travelling in the years afterwards round the larger cities of Italy as the guest of a wealthy liberal elite who genuinely admired the literary productions but were treated to scornful comment. Leopardi became increasing eccentric in his dress, behaviour and eating habits. Nearly blind at the end, his ill-health exacerbated by excessive study, Leopardi died in Naples of an asthmatic attack.
This is a parallel text edition with an introduction in English. Dust jacket has chipped edges and has been repaired at base of spine with adhesive tape which has browned. The card binding is also worn around the edges and has a repair at the base of the spine similar to the one on the dust jacket. The book has been used as a study text and bears a few study marks in pencil, mostly in the introduction. The front cover is beginning to part from the main block exposing the join, and on the free end paper is a name in blue ink dated 1963.
Otherwise all pages clean with clear text.