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The Betrothed

Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
Length: 24 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Summary

After the jealous tyrant Don Rodrigo foils their wedding, young Lombardian peasants Lucia and Lorenzo must separate and flee for their safety. Their difficult path to matrimony takes place against the turbulent backdrop of the Thirty Years War, where lawlessness and exploitation are at their height. Lucia takes refuge in a convent, where she is later abducted and taken on a nightmarish journey to a sinister castle, while Lorenzo goes to Milan, where he witnesses famine, riots, and plague - all evoked through meticulous description and with stunning immediacy. The Betrothed is a masterful example of historical fiction and remains one of the most famous novels in Italian literature. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

Public Domain (P)2019 Naxos Audiobooks

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Outstanding story disappointing translation.

This is one of the great classics of European literature. Manzoni is in the first division of 19th Century writers and The Betrothed is on any top 10 list of works. That said this particular translation is weak and shows little understanding of Catholicism, a subject which is crucial to the story. Two obvious examples are the use of 'temple' instead of 'church' as a translation of the Italian 'templo.' No one who speaks English calls a church a temple. The same goes for 'curato'. The English word, curate, which is used, is an assistant priest but in Italian the word means a senior priest, a parish priest and the assistant is a vicario.
Both these obvious mistakes aren't made in the Penman translation used by Penguin.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pia Crosby
  • 25-03-19

Fantastic reading of a great work of literature

This was not my first reading of this great work of world literature, but in the present rendition it comes alive in a completely new way. The moving and exciting plot as lived out in the wonderful variety of characters of this story becomes almost like a play, as the Nicholas Boulton is able to enter into them, and adapt his tone and even dialect to the person speaking. I find him one of the best performers on Audible yet, and that is after many years of being a member.
I had hoped for a long time that Audible would make this book available, and with this recent publication my hopes were fulfilled, and my expectations greatly exceeded.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Liese
  • 27-11-19

Addio ai Monti 🇮🇹

Having this treasure in audio in English is a dream come true. I’m head over heels in love with Lombardy for sentimental reasons, so I cannot but cherish this story and its settings.

It’s possibly the most widely read novel in Italian, yet I find too few Americans have heard of it. If you find yourself among them, I recommend it to you!

So many extraordinary characters, good and evil, people the scenes. Who could forget Renzo the silk weaver, the Nun of Monza, or the diabolical L’Innomiato, Nibbio, and Griso, or the ingeniously named crooked lawyer, Dr Azzeccagarbugli? You must meet them all!

The impact of this book on Italian literature, language, and education is inestimable. Even colloquial speech uses phrases from this book as proverbs, and names of characters as shorthand for personality description, much as we do with Shakespeare.

Truly this is a novel not to be missed, in an enjoyable translation beautifully performed. Buon ascolta!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • John L Murphy
  • 19-09-19

Reader makes this lively

I wish Nicholas Boulton performed more classics available at Audible. His jocular tone enlivened this tale of Milan under foreign rule in the early 1600s. Written by Manzoni as the first notable Italian novel, it's charm in this old-fashioned translation survives due to Boulton 's unflattering cheer. His timing delivers Manzoni's earnest swashbuckling tale full of parted lovers, scheming lords, and valiant clergy well. While the plot is suitably rather melodramatic, the moral lessons get a lighter than expected emphasis, thanks to the author's deft air and the reader's fluid narration of this meandering saga.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful