Gallenga Letters

Scope and Content

Letters from Antonio Gallenga to Robert Cole, concerning a transcription of letters by Italian writer Ugo Foscolo.

Administrative / Biographical History

Antonio Carlo Napoleone Gallenga (1810-1895) was an Italian author and patriot born at Parma on November 4, 1810. He was the eldest son of a good Piedmontese family, and served for ten years in the French army under Massna and Napoleon. He had finished his education at the University of Parma, when the French Revolution of 1830 caused a ferment in Italy. He sympathized with the movement, and within a few months was successively a conspirator, a state prisoner, a combatant and a fugitive. For the next five years he lived a wandering life in France, Spain and Africa. In August 1836 he embarked for New York, and three years later he proceeded to England, where he supported himself as a translator and teacher of languages. In 1854, through Cavour's influence, he was elected a deputy to the Italian parliament. He retained his seat until 1864, passing the summer in England and fulfilling his parliamentary duties at Turin in the winter. On the outbreak of the Austro-Sardinian War of 1859, he proceeded to Lombardy as war correspondent of The Times. The campaign was so brief that the fighting was over before he arrived, but his connection with The Times endured for twenty years. He was a forcible and picaresque writer, with a remarkable command of the English language. He materially helped to establish that friendly feeling towards Italy which became traditional in England. In 1859 Gallenga purchased the Falls, at Llandogo on the Wye, as a residence, and to there he retired in 1885. He died at this house on December 17, 1895. He was twice married.

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