Characters Discussed

Lazzaro Scacerni

Lazzaro Scacerni (lahz-ZAH-roh ska-CHEHR-nee), owner of St. Michael’s mill on the Po River. He builds the mill with money inherited from a dying captain he met in Napoleon Bonaparte’s Russian campaign. Although illiterate, he creates a good business and maintains his mill through the adversities of flood, war, and political upheaval. He hates the smugglers in the neighborhood who use his beloved mill as a rendezvous, and he is outraged when his own son becomes involved in smuggling grain to the Austrian enemy in the 1840’s.

Giuseppe Scacerni

Giuseppe Scacerni (jee-ew-SEHP-peh), the cowardly and crafty son of Lazzaro. He cares nothing for his father’s mill and trade except its profits. He takes a part in selling grain to his country’s enemies. He forces Cecilia to marry him through threats: If she marries him, he agrees he will not inform the authorities that his father possesses concealed firearms. When Giuseppe’s son dies while fighting with Garibaldi, he loses his reason, and he is at last confined in a madhouse.

Dosolina Scacerni

Dosolina Scacerni (doh-soh-LEE-nah), wife of the miller Lazzaro. Although Lazzaro is attractive to women and makes many conquests, he chooses this poor but delicately beautiful girl to be his wife. She is twenty...

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Bibliography

Bergin, T. G. Review of The Mill on the Po, by Riccardo Bacchelli. The New York Herald Tribune Book Review, September 17, 1950, p. 5. Points out that Bacchelli, despite the accusations levelled at the lack of subtlety in his writing, is a careful stylist who devotes much attention to the proper word and phrase.

Booklist. Review of The Mill on the Po, by Riccardo Bacchelli. 47, no. 136 (December 1, 1950). States that The Mill on the Po is regarded in Italy as the Italian War and Peace (1865-1869).

Knittel, Robert. Review of The Mill on the Po, by Riccardo Bacchelli. The New York Times, September 17, 1950, p. 5. Strongly favorable review argues that the novel transcends its historical context and reaches universal truths.

New Yorker, The. Review of The Mill on the Po, by Riccardo Bacchelli. 26, no. 118 (September 16, 1950). Criticizes The Mill on the Po for being heavy-handed in its presentation of its characters as representatives of the Italian people.

Sandrock, Mary. Review of The Mill on the Po, by Riccardo Bacchelli. Catholic World 172, no. 153 (November, 1950). Points out that Bacchelli’s novel, in portraying the “defects” of the Roman Catholic church and its actions during a tumultuous period of Italian history, nevertheless does not “weaken” the church’s “spiritual integrity.”