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Count James Leopardi and Albion reader


Sorry for my English: I will appreciate if someone will correct me (look for my e-mail at the bottom of the page). This English part is not a translation: if this site is devoted to the great poet Giacomo Leopardi, my interests are philological, and naturally I can't translate poems or documents, cause my intents are just to publish texts as they were written. Nevertheless there are historical parts that could be explained in other languages: because my English is not fluent I have no time to do it by myself, but I can give, here, a review of my works, and a list of useful addresses for the leopardian people who can't read Leopardi in Italian.


Let's start with some links:





Giacomo Leopardi (03-03/10: nunc et semper dd-mm/yy)


An honest biography, better than many italian pseudo-biographies. Correct «Recanti» in "Recanati", the name «Paolona Ranieri» in "Paolina" (in Italian, the first means "big Paola", the latter "little Paola", Canti: Morrison translationas the sister of Giacomo, Paolina Leopardi). When you read «According to Ranieri, Leopardi never had physical sexual experiences with women» consider that a great leopardian critic, Francesco Moroncini, was not agree. And add, of your own: «who knows?».


Giacomo Leopardi (03-03/10)


More complete and better than the former. It's strange the final mistake about the date of death, 15th june 1837 (it is correct in the starting schema).


Giacomo Leopardi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (03-03/10)


Pay attention: it would be a good work, but is no homogeneous; and remember that Palinodia al marchese Gino Capponi is not outside Canti: it's indeed canto XXXII (the same error in the Italian version).


Giacomo Leopardi Biography - ( 1798 – 1837 ) etc. (06-03/10)


Sure is very difficult to find a worst page, but leopardian news are really ok. This life is analytical and documented.



Some words about my Italian works in my site:



Giacomo e l'astrologo (= James and the Astrologer, PDF)


In a little ironic style I say that most astrologers have failed in calculate the astral theme of Leopardi, cause they have read literally the testimony of father Monaldo, who wrote his son was born at «19 ore»; it has really deceived also most critics, also the best (Walter Binni, Damiani, Rigoni, Tellini etc.). But 39 years later, in his Memoriale, Monaldo wrote that Giacomo was born at three p. m. And this is the right hour, followin' the French indication of time: on the contrary in the first case he used the Italian mode, that in 1800 century means the hour 0.00 started half an hour past the sunset: so, in June, 19.00 Italian hour means 15 p. m. In this study, besides the demonstration of this calculation mode in 1800, I have put some important document of the life of Leopardi: book of family, act of baptism, etc. And a righter astral theme...


Sonetti in persona di ser Pecora fiorentino beccaio (PDF)


Critical text and tradition history of Sonetti. It's hard to believe: we have the original autographs and the first definitive print (Bologna 1826), but our actual best editions are full of errors, about two ev'ry sonnet! This probably happened also for some typographical accidents in the edition of Giovanni Mestica (1899), a good scholar but not so good editor. The worse, this unfortunate text was the exemplar used by Francesco Flora (1940), and the edition of Flora is still the vulgata of most leopardian works. As a matter of fact the editions of Binni (1969) and Rigoni (1987) add further errors. I have not yet seen the recent new work of F. Gavazzeni, Poesie disperse (2009), that could contain also the Sonetti. Otherwise the best edition would remain G. Piergili, Poesie minori di Giacomo Leopardi, Florence, Le Monnier,1889 (!), pp. 169-174. [I have now seen the critical edition of Gavazzeni: the text is OK, but most introductions and apparatus are not a good work]


I nuovi credenti (PDF)


Text, historical introduction and commentary of this satyrc poem of 105 verses, probably written in 1836, where Leopardi speaks in a sarcastic manner about The new believers, hypocrites who were not-believer «till France liked» (v. 41), ambitious people really interested only in material joys.


English texts (transliterations):



Canti pdf, zip compression, 352 KB.


Many thanks to A. S. Kline: I’ve found this free work at the address: Leopardi ‘The Canti’ (04-03/10)

Thou is nice to read Canti in chronological order, remember that the order of  Leopardi is different and not without an inner logic.


The Poems of Giacomo Leopardi by Giacomo Leopardi - Project Gutenberg (04-03/10)


It’s the electronic transliteration of the translation of  Frederick Townsend, 1887. Pay attention, ‘cause it’s not complete: the last four fragments are missing, and the fine Dedication to his Friends in Tuscany is part of the first edition of Canti (Florence 1831) but there is not in the second (Neaples 1835) and definitive.


Giacomo Leopardi - opera omnia - operette morali – translations (04-03/10)


Leopardi Essays translated by Charles Edwardes. Fragment of Stratone of Lampsaco is missing, and the order is not good (see below). In this site too there is the quoted translation of Canti by A. S. Kline.



English texts (ebooks or similar)



The poems of Leopardi – pdf, 3.5 MB (04-03/10).

Translated by F. H. Cliffe, 1893 with a good life of Leopardi, but not all Canti are translated.


The poems (‘Canti’) of Leopardi – pdf, 3.1 MB (04-03/10).

the same – pdf, 1.8 MB (04-03/10).

the same, rich – pdf, 8.6 MB (04-03/10).

By J. M. Morrison, 1900. With a brief preface, it doesn’t contain any fragment (Canti are 41: they are 36 canti + 5 fragments; take a look to this index) . Three canti are omitted: by luck they are not exactly the same of the translation of  F. H. Cliffe.


Essays and Dialogues of Giacomo Leopardi by Charles Edwardes, 1882 – pdf, 7.8 MB (04-03/10).

same – pdf, 8.4 MB (04-03/10).

same, rich – pdf, 34 MB (04-03/10).

With a «biographical sketch» (not so “sketch”: 35 pages). It contains 24 Operette morali, but in different order: all good till Song of the wild cock, then here is the correct order:


XIX. Frammento apocrifo di Stratone di Lampsaco (not translated)

XX. Dialogue between Timandro et Eleandro

XXI. Copernicus

XXII. Dialogue between Plotinus and Pophirius

XXIII. Dialogue between an almanac seller and a passer-by

XXIV. Dialogue between Tristano and a friend


The Comparison of the last words of Brutus and Theophrastus is not part of definitive edition of Operette. I don’t well understand the reason of these changes, because the basilar edition of Florence, 1845 (quoted by the translator at page xliiii) is correct. Probably the translator follows the former edition, but Strato, Copernicus and Plotinus and Porphirius appeared the first time in 1845. As about the Canti, remember the order follows an inner logic.


A final curiosity: Leopardi himself translated in an amusing and amused English the title of his Operette morali, in a letter to his brother Carlo (september, 20, 1826):


«You will find, at the same address at

Which I sent you the moral performations

Another small book of mine.»


And Carlo, four days later, answered that it was for him a consolation to read the «poetical performances» (= the small book: G. L., Versi, Bologna, 1826) of his dear brother.



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