cover of book

Masaniello: The Life and Afterlife of a Neapolitan Revolutionary
by Silvana D'Alessio
translated by Thomas Cohen
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-90-485-5333-4

This is a translation and new edition of Masaniello. La sua vita e il mito in Europa (Rome, 2007), the first historical biography of the leader of the revolt that broke out in Naples in 1647–48. Initially, its main objectives were the cancellation of the many taxes introduced in previous decades and a political reform that would allow the people to have their voice in the civic parliament. Thanks to Masaniello, the Neapolitans were able to compel the Spanish viceroy to sign new ‘capitoli’ (popular desiderata) but soon after, Masaniello was isolated by his main counselor, Giulio Genoino, and others, and ultimately abandoned to a tragic fate. From the moment of his death, a fascinating new life began in which Masaniello was exalted and condemned in many texts (historical volumes, plays, and even a dialogue with Wilhelm Tell) until, by the Risorgimento, he was remembered as an Italian hero.
More to explore: Description and Travel