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Author: Eliot, George Set In . . .
 Europe, Italy, Florence
Genre: Historical Novel
Time Frame: 1400s
Published: 1864
Description: Romola (1862–63) is a historical novel by George Eliot set in the fifteenth century, and is "a deep study of life in the city of Florence from an intellectual, artistic, religious, and social point of view".[citation needed] It first appeared in fourteen parts published in Cornhill Magazine from July 1862 to August 1863 . The story takes place amidst actual historical events during the Italian Renaissance, and includes in its plot several notable figures from Florentine history.Florence, 1492: Christopher Columbus has sailed towards the New World, and Florence has just mourned the death of its legendary leader, Lorenzo de' Medici. In this setting, a Florentine trader meets a shipwrecked stranger, who introduces himself as Tito Melema, a young Italianate-Greek scholar. Tito becomes acquainted with several other Florentines, including Nello the barber and a young girl named Tessa. He is also introduced to a blind scholar named Bardo de' Bardi, and his daughter Romola. As Tito becomes settled in Florence, assisting Bardo with classical studies, he falls in love with Romola. However, Tessa falls in love with Tito, and the two are "married" in a mock ceremony. Tito learns from Fra Luca, a Dominican monk, that his adoptive father has been forced into slavery and is asking for assistance. Tito introspects, comparing filial duty to his new ambitions in Florence, and decides that it would be futile to attempt to rescue his adoptive father. This paves the way for Romola and Tito to marry. Fra Luca shortly thereafter falls ill and before his death he speaks to his estranged sister, Romola. Ignorant of Romola's plans, Fra Luca warns her of a vision foretelling a marriage between her and a mysterious stranger who will bring pain to her and her father. After Fra Luca's death, Tito dismisses the warning and advises Romola to trust him. Tito and Romola become betrothed at the end of Carnival, to be married at Easter after Tito returns from a visit to Rome... etc... Christian Bernhard, Freiherr von Tauchnitz (August 25, 1816 Schleinitz, present day Unterkaka – August 11, 1895 Leipzig), the founder of the firm of Bernhard Tauchnitz, was the nephew of the first-mentioned. Christian's father died when he was young and his uncle played an important part in his development. His printing and publishing firm was started at Leipzig (Germany) on February 1, 1837.Bernhard started the Collection of British and American Authors in 1841, a reprint series familiar to anglophone travellers on the continent of Europe. These inexpensive paperbound editions, a direct precursor to mass-market paperbacks, were begun in 1841, and eventually ran to over 5,000 volumes. In 1868 he began the Collection of German Authors, followed in 1886 by the Students' Tauchnitz Editions.
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