A scarce set of this collection of tragedies from Vittorio Alfieri, considered the founder of Italian tragedy.
Containing seven volumes of his tragedies, along with an additional volume containing his posthumously published works.
It is to his dramas that Alfieri is chiefly indebted for the high reputation he has attained. Before his time the Italian language, so harmonious in the Sonnets of Petrarch and so energetic in the Commedia of Dante, had been invariably languid and prosaic in dramatic dialogue. The pedantic and inanimate tragedies of the 16th century were followed, during the Iron Age of Italian literature, by dramas of which extravagance in the sentiments and improbability in the action were the chief characteristics. The prodigious success of the Merope of Maffei, which appeared in the commencement of the 18th century, may be attributed more to a comparison with such productions than to intrinsic merit. In this degradation of tragic taste the appearance of the tragedies of Alfieri was perhaps the most important literary event that had occurred in Italy during the 18th century.
Besides his tragedies, Alfieri published during his life many sonnets, five odes on American independence and the poem of Etruria, founded on the assassination of Alexander, duke of Florence. Of his prose works the most distinguished for animation and eloquence is the Panegyric on Trajan, composed in a transport of indignation at the supposed feebleness of Pliny's eulogium.
Eight volumes bound in five.
In half-calf bindings with marbled boards. Externally worn, with some loss to the backstrips and rubbing to the boards and extremities. All joints starting. Internally, firmly bound. Pages are bright and mainly clean, with just the odd spot. Overall: FAIR with a very good interior.
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