BARS Exchange

BARS Exchange

Aggregated blogs on Romantic Studies – please click through to read full posts.

On This Day in 1816: Italy, Romanticism, and the Year Without a Summer (Part I)

By Anna Mercer

Milan - Corso di Porta Venezia

We continue the ‘On This Day’ series with a post on Italian Romanticism from Fabio Camilletti, who is Associate Professor at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick. This post has two parts; the second will be posted here next week.

As always, to contribute a blog to this series about the bicentenary of a significant event in 1816, please contact Anna Mercer.

29 February 1816: Italy, Romanticism, and the Year Without a Summer (Part I)

Damn Bonaparte!

‘Maladett Bonaparte!’ – ‘Damn Bonaparte!’: thus ladies exclaimed around 1816 (at least, according to Stendhal’s testimony), when approaching Porta Orientale, the ancient door of Milan – nowadays Porta Venezia – from whence the Alps could be seen at the end of the Corso, where aristocrats’ carriages used to parade.

Milan – Corso di Porta Venezia

For them, Stendhal records, the French Emperor was the cause of the early frosts experienced in Lombardy since the French Revolution: in opening the route of the Simplon, Napoleon must have breached the natural wall of the Alps, which had thus far sheltered the city from the inclemency of Northern winds.

Together with the frost, Bonaparte had also brought something else. Many years later, in The Charterhouse …read more