Innocence

Innocence

by Penelope Fitzgerald
     
 

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Beautiful Chiara is the last of the Ridolfi, a Florentine family of long lineage and eccentric habits. She is smitten with Salvatore, a brilliant but penniless doctor, a rational man who wants nothing to do with romance. This is the story of how these two--with the best intentions, the kindest of instincts, and the most meddlesome of friends--make each other

Overview


Beautiful Chiara is the last of the Ridolfi, a Florentine family of long lineage and eccentric habits. She is smitten with Salvatore, a brilliant but penniless doctor, a rational man who wants nothing to do with romance. This is the story of how these two--with the best intentions, the kindest of instincts, and the most meddlesome of friends--make each other wonderfully miserable inside.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Clever and dangerously beguiling." The Los Angeles Times

"As intoxicating as a shot of aged brandy . . . a true sensualist's feeling for Italy." The Washington Post

"The fullest and richest of her novels." Time Magazine

Emily Leider
Mrs. Fitzgerald casts a wry, forgiving eye on her characters and charms us even when her plot gets snagged in its complications. We are left with a new awareness of the folly - not of being comforted - but of believing we can control or even comprehend our common, mysterious predicament. -- The New York Times
Boston Globe
A delectable comedy of manners.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This charming, amusing and deft novel by a winner of the Booker Prize is set in Florence in the 1950s, though the characters might have stepped directly out of the Renaissance. The slightly eccentric characters share the trait suggested by the title, and never once does Fitzgerald strike a false note. Unique in the annals of Euro-American marital commerce is an aging count who trades his aristocratic lineage to an American in marriage and is ``left worse off than before.'' His daughter, beautiful, featherbrained Chiara, loves the solemnly scientific neurologist Salvatore, who has fled his native southern Italy and his father's deep involvement in politics; the elder is a passionate disciple of one of Mussolini's most distinguished victims. Others in a richly peopled scene include Maddalena, accurately known as Aunt Mad, and the hearty, bumptious, meddling, English schoolgirl Barney. This is a comedy of manners in the distinctively English tradition, brimming with the sweet pleasures of that high style. The novel shines with intelligence, wit, sly irony and the observant eye of a writer who seems unable to miss anything pertinent to her vocation. (April 30)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395908723
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Edition description:
1ST MARINE
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author


PENELOPE FITZGERALD wrote many books small in size but enormous in popular and critical acclaim over the past two decades. Over 300,000 copies of her novels are in print, and profiles of her life appeared in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. In 1979, her novel Offshore won Britain's Booker Prize, and in 1998 she won the National Book Critics Circle Prize for The Blue Flower. Though Fitzgerald embarked on her literary career when she was in her 60's, her career was praised as "the best argument.. for a publishing debut made late in life" (New York Times Book Review). She told the New York Times Magazine, "In all that time, I could have written books and I didn’t. I think you can write at any time of your life." Dinitia Smith, in her New York Times Obituary of May 3, 2000, quoted Penelope Fitzgerald from 1998 as saying, "I have remained true to my deepest convictions, I mean to the courage of those who are born to be defeated, the weaknesses of the strong, and the tragedy of misunderstandings and missed opportunities, which I have done my best to treat as comedy, for otherwise how can we manage to bear it?"

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 17, 1916
Date of Death:
May 3, 2000
Place of Birth:
Lincoln, England
Place of Death:
London, England
Education:
Somerville College, Oxford University, 1939

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