9781784782566-max_221 more images image

The Viceroys: A Novel

A classic of Sicilian Literature, first published in 1894
A lost literary classic, written in 1894, The Viceroys is one of the most acclaimed masterworks of Italian realism.

The novel follows three generations of the aristocratic Uzeda family as it struggles to hold on to power in the face of the cataclysmic changes rocking Sicily. As Garibaldi’s triumphs move Italy toward unification, the Uzedas try every means to retain their position. De Roberto’s satirical and mordant pen depicts a cast of upper-class schemers, headed by the old matriarch, Donna Teresa, and exemplified by her arrogant and totally unscrupulous son, Consalvo, who rises to political eminence through lip service, double-dealing, and hypocrisy. The Viceroys is a vast dramatic panorama: a new world fighting to shrug off the viciousness and iniquities of the old.

Reviews

  • “A skilfully crafted novel. De Roberto’s technique is so confident, the Verso Classics timing and rhythm of the narration are so controlled and constant.”
  • “A unique combination of naturalistic lucidity over the fate of impoverished aristocracies, and a Goya-like inventiveness in extracting from social disintegration a whole gallery of grotesques and monstrosities … a superb lesson in how coarse and rancid the collapse of a ruling class actually is.”
  • “Undoubtedly a classic.”
  • “Verso Books has done a good deed in this timely republication of a remarkable novel. The capriciousness, the blind avarice and superstition, the arrogance and unearned license that the Uzedas embody cannot but resonate today.”

Blog

  • Reconceptualizing Family History

    "Frustrated by the fact that most texts on women treated 'the man's world' as the given and then simply asked where and how women fitted in," Stephanie Coontz writes, "I decided to undertake a survey of American gender roles: that was the starting point of the present book" — The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families 1600–1900, published by Verso in 1988.


    Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with wife and two daughters, c. 1863-65. via Wikimedia Commons.

    As the focus of her research shifted from "woman's private sphere" to the family as a larger arena in which the public and private intersect, Coontz became more attentive to the diversity of household arrangements across time and space. "Stimulated by the burgeoning research into family history," she writes, "I began to look at the family as a culture's way of coordinating personal reproduction with social reproduction — as the socially sanctioned place where male and female reproductive activities condition and are conditioned by the other activities into which human beings enter as they perpetuate a particular kind of society, or try to construct a new one." 

    Continue Reading

  • Reconceptualizing Family History (Part II)

    Continued from part I.


    Detail from Francis William Edmonds' The New Bonnet (1858).

    The Limits of Structural and Demographic Analysis

    Although it is important to compare demographic trends and household structures and seek their economic correlates, such procedures yield only limited information about the history of families. Olga Linares points out: “Qualitative changes in the meaning of interpersonal obligations may be as important in distinguishing among household types as more easily measured changes in size and form.” Indeed, as Barrington Moore Jr has commented, tabulating structural differences “necessarily involves ignoring all differences except the one being measured.” Changes in social relations and patterns are not “reducible to any quantitative differences; they are incommensurable. Yet it is precisely such differences that matter most to human beings.”47

    Continue Reading

  • Five Book Plan: Revolutionary Novels

    John Rees is a historian, broadcaster and campaigner based in London. His latest book is the recently published The Leveller Revolution, which tells the gripping story of the Levellers and the struggle for democracy in the English Revolution. it is currently 50% off as part of our end-of-year sale, with free shipping.

    In this, the latest of our Five Book Plans, John picks his favourite fictional recreations of the revolutionary experience. 


    Continue Reading

Other books of interest

  • Altia__pb__front_cmyk-max_141

    Altai

    by Wu Ming

    Altai is a great historical thriller and the prose has all the surface glitter of the Grand Canal or the Golden Horn.” – Edward Stourton, Financial Times

    8 posts