To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
An overview of the early Italian novel might well begin with the observation that Italian writers never felt too comfortable with the novel as a literary form before the nineteenth century. Therefore, many literary historians came to the inevitable conclusion that the birth of the Italian novel takes place in 1827 with Alessandro Manzoni's I promessi sposi. Such an assessment makes sense only if it implies that detecting a unified pattern of development in the Italian premodern novel leading to the “rise” of the “modern” novel would be very difficult. To put it another way, the Renaissance Boccaccian novella does not “evolve” into the bourgeois novel of the eighteenth century. In the Italian canon, there is no Astrée after Sannazaro's Arcadia, and the historical novel of the seventeenth century does not constitute an antecedent of the early nineteenth-century historical novel. Yet so vast a literary output cannot fail to stimulate the curiosity of the reader interested in the history of the genre and in the relationship between literature and the society that produced it.
The fourteenth century
Giovanni Boccaccio is generally considered to be the founder of modern narrative as it emerged in postmedieval Europe. He stands out in the history of modern European culture as a reviver of the literary tradition, of the pastoral allegory and biography as well as the various forms of fiction: the novella, the longer narrative poem, and long prose fiction. Just as his friend Francesco Petrarca created the language of the new lyric, so Boccaccio, gathering up the entangled but vigorous threads of the medieval tale and novel, established the types and prose style of European narrative.