The Gadfly is a novel by Ethel Lilian Voynich, published in , set in s Italy under the dominance of Austria, a time of tumultuous revolt and upri. The Gadfly – By E. L. Voynich – Arthur Burton, an English Catholic, travels to Italy to study to be a priest. He discovers radical ideas, renounces Catholicism and. The Gadfly [Ethel Voynich] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers . Ethel Voynich’s classic tale of revolution, romance, religion, youth, and loss.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Inthe Soviet director Aleksandr Faintsimmer adapted the novel into a film of the same title Russian: The pamphlet gives some idea of the Soviet attitude toward Voynich. Is it possible to imagine anything more weird than the fact of Soviet Russia’s most revered literary hero being based upon the real- life character of their greatest enemy? It appears that in Reilly had had a brief but passionate love affair with a young English woman writer, to whom he had confided the strange story of his early life.

There he becomes devoted to his guardian and mentor Montanelli, who, unknown to him, is also his biological father.

The Gadfly by E. L. Voynich

In the company of his childhood sweetheart Gemma, Arthur becomes involved in the Young Italy movement fighting Austrian imperial rule. Ina Soviet delegation of writers learned that the author, long presumed dead, was alive in New York — the newspaper Pravda proclaimed her resurrection, much like that of her protagonist. Montanelli refuses and condemns his son to death. The book, set during the Italian Risorgimentois primarily concerned with the culture of revolution and revolutionaries.

After his capture, he is visited by Montanelli, now a cardinal, who offers him a lifeline. If you’ll sit quietly I’ll read it to you. The local authorities are soon dedicated to capturing him.

This is especially explicit at the climax of the book, where sacred descriptions intertwine with reflections on the Gadfly’s fate. The evidence demonstrates that a liaison of some sort took place between Reilly and her in Florence, Zoom page 17 May Spotted a problem with this article?


And there, on page 27, was the answer to the problem which has occupied some of Russia’s best minds for so many years. During this dalliance, Reilly apparently “bared his soul to his mistress,” and revealed to her the story of his strange youth in Russia.

But he unwittingly betrays his comrades, after his private confession is relayed to the police. Arthur, the eponymous Gadfly, embodies the tragic Romantic herowho comes of age and returns from abandonment to discover his true state in the world and fight against the injustices of the current one.

But anyway, things could never be the same again: She had lived in New York sinceforgotten and unread in the West, and totally unaware Soviet copyright laws being what they are of having become one of Russia’s great legendary figures.

Yes, you have guessed it: From that day on the old lady’s home became a place of pil- grimage for every Soviet visitor to the us— a kind of New York Marx’s grave. Reilly and Voynich travelled to Italy, where he claims to have told Ethel his life story, elements of which bear striking similarities to the Gadfly.

The gadfly and the spy » 17 May » The Spectator Archive

They dragged out various nineteenth century Italian, Russian and even Polish revolutionaries Mr Voynich had been a Polebut for one reason or another none of them fitted. The Gadfly 1 ed. At the age of 15, Ethel read about the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini.

They rang the bell—and there she was before them: Gemma, voyncih lover, and Padre Montanelli, his Priest and also secretly his biological fathershow various forms of love via their tragic relations with the focal character of Arthur: The reviewer, having delivered the obligatory stock sneers about Bulldog Drummond, British Intelligence, John Buchan, the Zinoviev Letter, and old Uncle Percy Blakeney and all, wistfully regretted never having come across progressive children’s books, with a clean-limbed young leftist hero besting the evil forces of imperialism and finance capital; sadly, he even doubted whether anything gqdfly that had ever gadflh written.

Page 9, 17 May — The gadfly and the spy. When Korchagin was critically wounded his doctors marvelled at the sixteen year old boy’s fortitude.

Her death was mourned as that of a great national figure. On the other hand, in Italy, where the plot takes place during the Italian Unificationthe novel is totally neglected: Arthur, now a Christ-like figure, commands his own execution and forgives the firing squad. He then discovers his family secret, and loses all faith in the church.


The Gadfly Series

What are they like, the children’s books on which little Russian boys and girls are edu- cated in the virtues of patriotism, courage, spying and purity? It is debatable to what extent an allegorical comparison can be drawn between the Gadfly and Jesus. The Gadfly found its largest audience in China — where Montanelli had been a missionary, and where suspicion of the Catholic Church was high. Piastra, Il romanzo inglese di Brisighella: What have you to do with this dead world of priests and idols?

The Gadfly by E. L. Voynich – Free Ebook

It is a story of faith, disillusionment, revolution, romance, and heroism. The hero is a young Englishman, Arthur Burton, a devout Catholic, who gets mixed up with the revolutionaries—and suddenly discovers not only that he has unwittingly betrayed his com- rades to the police through the perfidy of his father-confessor, but also that he is the illegitimate son of another Catholic priest whom he loves and admires, one Montanelli. Montanelli also dies, having lost his faith and his sanity.

The Soviet journalists were, if anything, even more astonished: 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.

But Arthur, unforgiving and uncompromising, demands that his father renounce the church. The novel gained popularity initially in Ireland with socialists and nationalists fighting for independence, and it remains the bestselling Irish novel of all time.

Spectator Archive by Netcopy. In the end he is caught, sentenced and executed; the last rites are administered. And I started to recollect.