Other Literary Forms
Alessandro Manzoni is remembered chiefly for a single work, I promessi sposi (1842; The Betrothed, 1951)—a revision of the earlier Gli sposi promessi (1827; The Betrothed, 1828)—his only novel. He was, however, a prolific writer of astonishing range and intellectual depth. Manzoni was a historian, the author of such works as the Discorso sopra alcuni punti della storia longobardica in Italia (1822), the Lettre à Alphonse de Lamartine (1848), and La storia della colonna infame (1842; The Column of Infamy, 1964), which accompanied the 1842 edition of The Betrothed. He was also a writer of religious and philosophical works, including Lettre à Victor Cousin (1829). Dell’invenzione (1850) and Osservazioni sulla morale cattolica (1819), and a philologist, author of Sulla lingua italiana (1850) and Dell’unità della lingua e dei mezzi di diffonderla (1868). His bibliography includes many more works, among them volumes of literary criticism such as Lettera sul romanticismo (1846) and Del romanzo storico (1845), and two historical tragedies, much admired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Charles-Augustin de Sainte-Beuve, Il conte di Carmagnola (1820) and Adelchi (1822). Finally, his published correspondence, Epistolario (1882), makes fascinating reading.