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The Gadfly is a novel by Irish writer Ethel Voynich , published in United States, June; Great Britain, September of the same year , set in s Italy under the dominance of Austria , a time of tumultuous revolt and uprisings. A thread of a tragic relationship between Arthur and his love, Gemma, simultaneously runs through the story. It is a story of faith, disillusionment, revolution, romance, and heroism. The book, set during the Italian Risorgimento , is primarily concerned with the culture of revolution and revolutionaries.
Arthur, the eponymous Gadfly, embodies the tragic Romantic hero , who comes of age and returns from abandonment to discover his true state in the world and fight against the injustices of the current one. The landscape of Italy, in particular the Alps , is a pervading focus of the book, with its often lush descriptions of scenery conveying the thoughts and moods of characters. Arthur Burton, an English Catholic , travels to Italy to study to be a priest.
He discovers radical ideas, renounces Catholicism, fakes his death and leaves Italy. While away he suffers great hardship, but returns with renewed revolutionary fervour. He becomes a journalist, expounding radical ideas in brilliant satirical tracts published under the pseudonym "the gadfly".
The local authorities are soon dedicated to capturing him. Gemma, his lover, and Padre Montanelli, his Priest and also secretly his biological father , show various forms of love via their tragic relations with the focal character of Arthur: religious, romantic, and family.
The story compares these emotions to those Arthur experiences as a revolutionary, particularly drawing on the relationship between religious and revolutionary feelings. This is especially explicit at the climax of the book, where sacred descriptions intertwine with reflections on the Gadfly's fate.
Eventually Arthur is captured by the authorities and executed by a firing squad. Montanelli also dies, having lost his faith and his sanity. It is debatable to what extent an allegorical comparison can be drawn between the Gadfly and Jesus.
Lockhart claims that Reilly and Voynich had a sexual liaison and voyaged to Italy together. During this dalliance, Reilly apparently "bared his soul to his mistress," and revealed to her the story of his strange youth in Russia.
After their brief affair had concluded, Voynich published in her critically acclaimed novel, The Gadfly , the central character of which, Arthur Burton, was allegedly based on Sidney Reilly's own early life. The evidence demonstrates that a liaison of some sort took place between Reilly and her in Florence, With the central theme of the book being the nature of a true revolutionary , the reflections on religion and rebellion proved to be ideologically suitable and successful.
The Gadfly was exceptionally popular in the Soviet Union , the People's Republic of China and Iran exerting a large cultural influence. In the Soviet Union The Gadfly was compulsory reading and the top best seller, indeed by the time of Voynich's death The Gadfly is estimated to have sold 2,, copies in the Soviet Union alone.
China, there are several publishers translated the book, and one of them China Youth Press sold more than 2,, copies. In , the Soviet director Aleksandr Faintsimmer adapted the novel into a film of the same title Russian: Ovod for which Dmitri Shostakovich wrote the score. The Gadfly Suite is an arrangement of selections from Shostakovich's score by the composer Levon Atovmian. On the other hand, in Italy, where the plot takes place during the Italian Unification , the novel is totally neglected:  it was translated into Italian as late as in and was never reprinted: Il figlio del cardinale literally, The Son of the Cardinal.
A new edition, carrying the same title, came out in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see The Gadfly disambiguation. The Gadfly 1 ed. Retrieved 13 July Page The pamphlet gives some idea of the Soviet attitude toward Voynich. Farsetti, S.
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Ethel Lillian Voynich was an Irish novelist and musician, born in , and a supporter of several revolutionary causes. She was born in Cork, but grew up in England. She is best known for her novel The Gadfly , which became hugely popular in her lifetime, especially in Russia. In he anglicised his name to Voynich and became an antiquarian book dealer, giving his name eventually to the Voynich manuscript.
One of the most popular English-language novels of the 20th Century is almost unknown in the English-speaking world — a global phenomenon in translation, now neglected in its original form. The Gadfly, by Irish writer Ethel Voynich, was a sensation on the other side of the Iron Curtain — it sold over 5 million copies in editions in the 22 languages spoken in the Soviet Union. The protagonist is a young Englishman, Arthur Burton, who moves to a Catholic seminary after the death of his mother. There he becomes devoted to his guardian and mentor Montanelli, who, unknown to him, is also his biological father. In the company of his childhood sweetheart Gemma, Arthur becomes involved in the Young Italy movement fighting Austrian imperial rule.
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The Gadfly is a novel by Irish writer Ethel Voynich , published in United States, June; Great Britain, September of the same year , set in s Italy under the dominance of Austria , a time of tumultuous revolt and uprisings. A thread of a tragic relationship between Arthur and his love, Gemma, simultaneously runs through the story. It is a story of faith, disillusionment, revolution, romance, and heroism. The book, set during the Italian Risorgimento , is primarily concerned with the culture of revolution and revolutionaries. Arthur, the eponymous Gadfly, embodies the tragic Romantic hero , who comes of age and returns from abandonment to discover his true state in the world and fight against the injustices of the current one.