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Garibaldi and the Thousand

By G M Trevelyan

Giuseppe Garibaldi, hero of the Italian Risorgimento, is one of history’s greatest, most charismatic leaders.

This is the second volume in British historian GM Trevelyan’s epic trilogy covering his life and career.

Following his flight from Rome after the fall of the Roman Republic in 1849, we find Garibaldi wandering in exile, mourning the death of his beloved wife Anita. Soon he is recalled by Italian King Victor Emmanuel and Count Cavour of Sicily, both in favour of Italian unification. They persuade him to lead the campaign against the Austrian Empire, and he forms the “thousand”: an army of doctors, dentists, lawyers, and bankers who fought a Neapolitan garrison of twenty thousand.

Garibaldi was a great soldier and republican, admired the world over for his astonishing feats in battle, his leadership, and his great courage. Nineteenth-century liberal British politicians Gladstone and Palmerston supported Garibaldi’s cause and saw him as a kindred spirit. Poets William Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning saw him as a figure of great heroism. Trevelyan cites the letters and diaries of Garibaldi’s literary partisans and quotes from their moving and eloquent poems.

First published in 1909 Garibaldi and the Thousand is a classic of history, written by one of the greats. The Garibaldi Trilogy is considered GM Trevelyan’s finest work and was the first study of the Italian Risorgimento in the English language. Readers of this gripping second instalment will want to move on to the final volume, both to learn of the conclusion to this extraordinary man’s life, and for the exceptional quality of Trevelyan’s writing.

‘Very few of the books which are classified as historical novels are half as exciting’ – Manchester Guardian

‘The whole character of the campaign is illustrated for us by Mr Trevelyan’s power of making even the lesser actors in it seem alive and real…History thus written will appeal to the general reader as well as to the historian’
– Times Literary Supplement

‘Trevelyan’s great work was his Garibaldi Trilogy, which established his reputation as the outstanding literary historian of his generation…The books were also notable for their vivid evocation of landscape, for their innovative use of documentary and oral sources, and for their spirited accounts of battles and military campaigns’
– historian David Cannadine, from his GM Trevelyan: A Life in History

‘What is perhaps most frequently forgotten, or ignored, is the skill of his literary craftsmanship. Trevelyan was a born writer and a natural storyteller; and this, among historians, is a rare gift’
– historian JH Plumb

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