[Bartholdy] (1821) Memoirs of the… Carbonari – Secret Societies Revolution


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[Jakob Salomon Bartholdy] or [Bertoldi, Giuseppe]. Memoirs of the Secret Societies of the South of Italy, Particularly the Carbonari. Translated from the original ms. (London: John Murray, 1821). First English Edition.

Octavo. 235 pages. Hardcover. Half red Morocco over marbled boards, top edge gilt, spine stamped in gilt half title, lithographed portrait frontispiece of Ferdinand I, 11 lithographed plates, 7 folding.

Condition: Very Good with scuffing to binding and scattered foxing within. Previous owner’s signature on FFE. All plates are present. Hinges firm, binding tight. An 1885 newspaper article on the Carbonari is pasted to the last few blank pages.  Rebound in 1/2 Morocco. Nice looking book with minor flaws.

Provenance: Signed by Madeline E. Bartholf. Madeline Edith Tomlinson (1892-1971) married Brigadier General John Charles Palmer Bartholf in 1918. Her son, John C. Bartholf also reached the rank of Brigadier General.

This was published anonymously and there is confusion over who wrote it. Bartholdy was a Prussian diplomat, assigned to Rome while Bertoldi was an Italian politician. Since Bartoldi was born in 1821, it seems unlikely he was the author.

The Carbonari (lit. ’charcoal makers’) was an informal network of secret revolutionary societies active in Italy from about 1800 to 1831. The Italian Carbonari may have further influenced other revolutionary groups in France, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Brazil, and Uruguay. Although their goals often had a patriotic and liberal basis, they lacked a clear immediate political agenda.  They were a focus for those unhappy with the repressive political situation in Italy following 1815, especially in the south of the Italian Peninsula. Members of the Carbonari, and those influenced by them, took part in important events in the process of Italian unification (called the Risorgimento), especially the failed Revolution of 1820, and in the further development of Italian nationalism. The chief purpose was to defeat tyranny and to establish a constitutional government. In the north of Italy other groups, such as the Adelfia and the Filadelfia, were associate organizations. – Wikipedia