“(II gattopardo, 1958; tr 1960) A historical novel by Giuseppi Tomasi, Prince of Lampedusa. It describes the impact of Garibaldi’s invasion of Sicily and the subsequent unification of Italy on an aristocratic Sicilian family who had flourished under the Bourbon kings. The novel’s depiction of the failure of the Risorgimento created heated political debates when it was first published. However, the controversy subsided and the book was widely recognized as a penetrating psychological study of an age, written in a highly symbolic and richly poetic style.”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.