Azeglio, Massimo Taparelli, Marchese D'°

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AZEGLIO, MASSIMO TAPARELLI, MARCHESE D' ° (1798–1866), Italian statesman and writer; prominent figure in the Italian National Revival. D'Azeglio was born in Turin, the son of the Marchese Cesare d'Azeglio and of the Cristina Marozzo di Bianzé. Driven from his youth by intense and eclectic interests and traveling with his father, a diplomat of the Piedmontese court, he had a chance to frequent the literary and artistic clubs of different Italian cities, being especially interested in painting. It was, however, as a novelist that d'Azeglio won fame among his contemporaries, mostly owing to the publication in 1833 of the novel Ettore Fieramosca o la Disfida di Barletta, a real bestseller at the time. A keen advocate of the civil emancipation of the Regno di Piemonte's religious minorities (Hebrews and Protestants), d'Azeglio played a leading role both in the preliminary ideological stage (with the 1844 political pamphlet I casi di Romagna) and in the political stage of the 1848 uprisings (the first Italian War of Independence). After the defeat of the Piedmontese army at Novara, d'Azeglio was appointed prime minister of the Kingdom of Piedmont through the Austrians on May 7, 1849. In this role he instituted a judicious and balanced reform of public institutes. With the abrogation of ecclesiastic jurisdiction in 1850, d'Azeglio began the transformation of Piedmont into a liberal, secular, and modern state. He resigned as prime minister in 1852 and was replaced by Cavour but continued holding positions of political importance, without ever abandoning his literary interests. He died while at work on his autobiography (I miei ricordi), one of the most interesting literary works on the Italian National Revival.


Dizionario Biografico Italiano, 4 (1962), 746–52, including bibliography.

[Massimo Longo Adorno (2nd ed.)]