When Abraham Lincoln appointed William Dean Howells Consul to Venice, the young writer embarked on a journey that would leave an indelible impression on his life and work. Howells lived in Italy for four years, from 1861, during the pivotal and tumultuous period of Italian reunification. Italian Journeys, Howell's engrossing memoir of this time, describes his adventures across the country - from Genoa, a hotbed of nationalistic fervour and the city from which Garibaldi had led the Expedition of the Thousand only a year before, to the cultural and political powerhouse of Naples, which had only just become part of the Kingdom of Italy and from there to Rome, focus for the hopes of a fractured country. Travelling by land and sea, Howells was inspired at every turn - as much by the fevered events of the time as by the cultural and historical wealth of the country - and his beautifully-rendered portrait has become a classic of travel literature, essential for all those who, like him, have loved Italy.
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