The Leopard - Giuseppe Di Lampedusa, Archibald Colquhoun (translator) 1960 - Collins and Harvill Press, London - First Edition in English ‘Reading and rereading it has made me realise how many ways there are of being alive…’ – E. M. Forster.

Lampedusa’s masterful tale of the decline and fall of the house of Salina, a family of Sicilian aristocrats; the novel chronicles the life of world-weary Don Fabrizio, scion of an old feudal family and lover of astronomy, and recounts the fortunes of his nephew, Tancredi, as they struggle between mortality and decay during the Risorgimento.

In bright iconic dust jacket designed by Hans Tisdall, featuring his ‘strong calligraphic lettering and sharply drawn colour separations’.
  Initially rejected by several leading Italian publishers, Il Gattopardo (the novel’s original Italian title) was eventually published posthumously by Feltrinelli Editore in 1958, one year after Lampedusa’s death. Despite immediate success, the novel was criticised by several leftist movements, who attacked it for its decidedly non-Marxist depiction of the Sicilian working classes, and its portrayal of the decadence of the nobility. The novel was awarded the Strega Prize in 1959, and in 1960 Archibald Colquhoun provided the translation for the first English edition.

In 1963, Twentieth Century Fox produced a film adaptation of the novel. Directed by Luchino Visconti, the film starred Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, and Alain Delon, and was the recipient of the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957) was a Sicilian nobleman, the Duke of Palma, and the last Prince of Lampedusa. Born in Palermo to an aristocratic family, he served as an Italian artillery officer during WWI and was captured and held prisoner by the Austrians. Between the wars, he travelled extensively through Europe, attempting to restore his family’s estate, which had been in decline since the late 1800s. During WWII, the Tomasi palace in Palermo was bombed and looted by Allied troops, an event which is believed to have attributed to Lampedusa’s lengthy depression and instigated his writing. In the final two years of his life he completed his masterpiece,
Il Gattopardo, as well as several short literary works, though sadly, none were published in his lifetime.

References: www.nybooks.com. Skidelsky, ‘
The 10 Best Historical Novels’ The Observer 2012. Jones, ‘A Place in the Sun’ The Guardian 2003. Donadio, ‘Fifty Years On’ The New York Times 2008. www.italica.rai.it.

Octavo (21.5 x 14.5 cm). pp. 255 [1]. Publisher's green cloth with gilt titles to spine. Dust jacket priced ‘16s. net’ to lower corner of front flap.
  Condition: Near fine, faint foxing to endpapers, in near fine dust jacket, corners lightly rubbed, minor fading to spine.   Ref: 109190   Price: HK$ 2,800