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The House by the Medlar Tree by Giovanni Verga

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The House by the Medlar Tree by Giovanni Verga. Translated from the Italian by Eric Mosbacher.

Published by Doubleday Anchor Books in 1955.

Cover design by Emil Antonucci, typography by Diana Klemin.



267 pages / 4.1 x 7.2 x .6 inches / 10.5 x 18 x 1.5 centimeters


Please see the images above for an accurate representation of what the book looks like, but...

Some wear / creasing to the front cover, particularly around the edges. A bit of the image on the spine is starting to peel away.

The first page is starting to separate from the spine.

A bit of staining to the edges of the pages.


Verga is one of modern Europe's greatest novelists, long recognized as such in his native Italy, where he serves as perhaps the chief inspiration for that country's literary revival. His relative obscurity in this country, despite the enthusiasm of such critics as D.H. Lawrence and William Dean Howells, has only recently been overcome with the re-publication in English of his brilliant Little Novels of Sicily and The House by the Medlar Tree, his masterpiece, written in 1881.

The House by the Medlar Tree, set in a village on the bleak, rock-strewn coast of Sicily, is the story of the decline, through three generations, of the Malavoglia family. The house, from which the novel takes its English title (in Italian the novel is called I Malavoglia), is not only the family's dwelling but their main possession. Its misfortunes, parallel to those of its owners, are cause for lamentation, but not for lamentation alone, for these Sicilian fishermen are, in some marvelous way, impervious to misfortune. Endless reverses wear them down but fail to destroy them, for the stark quality of their courage and humor--their essential humanity, so to speak--prevails stubbornly against the brutality of their world and proves them stronger than it.

Verga's is one of the great themes in modern literature and his treatment of it in action and dialogue is characteristic of the style that he did o much to originate.

The House by the Medlar Tree by Giovanni Verga


  • Vintage item from the 1950s
  • Material: book
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