The Byron Journal

‘I am now an Italoquist’: Byron’s Correspondence in Italian

The Byron Journal (2016), 44, (2), 97–108.

Abstract

Byron’s copious correspondence in Italian shows two basic registers: the affective—typical of his letters to Teresa Guiccioli—and the political, exemplified by a series of letters charting his involvement in the Greek cause, where Byron repeatedly used Italian as a sort of lingua franca. By analysing its stylistic features, communicative functions and self-reflective elements, this essay reads Byron’s correspondence in Italian in the context of contemporary uses of the language and of the wider debate that developed in the early decades of the nineteenth century around the status of Italian as national language, at a time when the lack of political unity reverberated on the very existence of one written standard.

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Author details

Pomarè, Carla