Corinne, Or Italy

In April 1807, publication and translation into English of Germaine de Staël’s Corinne, Or Italy. Image: François Pascal Simon Gérard, Portrait of Madame de Staël (c. 1810), Evert A. Duyckinick, Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women in Europe and America (New York: Johnson, Wilson & Company, 1873). This image is in the public domain in the United States because its copyright has expired.

Corinne, a famous and influential French novel by Germaine de Staël, influenced women poets throughout the nineteenth century with its depiction of an Anglo-Italian poet-heroine, who is emblematic of map iconItaly’s struggle for independence. The novel immediately commanded a wide audience in its original French and, through two near-immediate translations, in English. Corinne‘s attractions doubtless lay partly in its plot: Oswald, Lord Nelvil, a melancholy British peer, travels to Italy, falls in love with the omni-talented artist and performer Corinne, and commences a relationship that reveals both characters’ secret histories and their connections to the grand events of recent European politics and history.


Erik Simpson, “On Corinne, Or Italy

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