Childhood, Youth, and Romanticism
For a man who came to harbour such an acute sense of the importance of history, Francesco Crispi's relative silence about his family and his early years seems, on the face of it, rather surprising. Yet Crispi's relationship with the past, and certainly with the past of the two countries into which he was born, Sicily and Italy, was always somewhat uneasy. The past for him was often a source of anxiety as well as of hope and reassurance. In maturity and old age he appears to have regarded his childhood and youth as closed books. Crispi's reticence about his early years, however, was not only psychological in character, but also political. This chapter looks at Crispi's childhood, youth, family background, his entry into the Greek seminary in Palermo, his initiation into romanticism, university education, and early career in journalism and politics.
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