Sicilian prince whose novel achieved recognition after his death
The Sicilian writer, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, was born on this day in 1896 in Palermo in Sicily.
|Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa|
The novel, which is set in his native Sicily during the Risorgimento, won the Strega price in 1959 for him posthumously.
After starting to study jurisprudence at university in Rome he was drafted into the army in 1915.
He fought in the battle of Caporetto and was taken prisoner by The Austro-Hungarian army. He was held in a prisoner of war camp for a while in Hungary but eventually managed to escape and return to Italy.
Giuseppe inherited his father’s title in 1934 and eventually settled down to write his novel. He completed Il Gattopardo in 1956, but it was rejected by the first two publishers he submitted it to.
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa died in Rome in 1957 at the age of 60. His novel was published a year after his death. It became the best selling novel in Italian history and was made into a film in 1963 by the director Lucchino Visconti.
The novel is celebrated at the Museo del Gattorpardo in the town of Santa Margherita di Belice, in the Sicilian province of Agrigento, where Tomasi had a palace.
Palermo, the birthplace of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, is the capital city of Sicily, the biggest Italian island, which is situated at the toe of the peninsula of Italy out in the Mediterranean Sea.
|Rabbit Beach in Lampedusa is said to be among|
the finest beaches in the world
Photo: Figiu (CC BY 3.0)
Lampedusa, home to about 6,000 people is an island situated 205 kilometres (127 miles) south-west of Sicily. The southernmost part of Italy, it is part of the Sicilian province of Agrigento but is actually just 113 kilometres (70 miles) off the cost of Tunisia. Rabbit Beach, on the south side of the island, is renowned as one of the finest beaches in the world, combining soft white sand with crystal clear water.