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The two most popular works of Italian fiction written between Italian Unification (1860-70) and World War I were Le avventure di Pinocchio: Storia di un burattino (The Adventures of Pinocchio: Story of a Puppet, 1883) by Carlo Collodi, the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini (1826-90); and Cuore (Heart, A Schoolboy's Journal, 1886) by Edmondo De Amicis (1846-1908). The poles between which both books shuttle are the home (family) and school, although in the case of Collodi's ambivalently constructed protagonist (the boy/marionette) there is much straying. It cannot be surprising that these should be the institutions invested with the greatest authority and responsibility in creating a “new” citizenry for the new nation which until then had been a land made up of various regions, each of which had its own dialect and customs. The slogan of the time was “We have made Italy; now we must make Italians.” The church of Rome was not prepared to participate in a state it felt had usurped much of its authority and land, but religious values were essential to character-building, the goal of the age. It is well to remember also that, except in some of Italy’s northern regions and Tuscany, literacy was a rarity. And the values and virtues being proclaimed were in the cause of a productive, middle-class ethic. The “popular” fiction and culture in general referred to here were created, primarily at least, for and by Italy’s bourgeoisie, not for and by peasants and the proletariat, although under the impulse of verismo of varying degrees it did not shy away from depicting the latter classes, sometimes in a way meant to point to supposed virtues that the petite bourgeoisie might embrace.