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The Gadfly is a novel by Irish writer Ethel Voynichpublished in United States, June; Great Britain, September of the same yearset in s Italy under the dominance of Austriaa 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 Risorgimentois primarily concerned with the culture of revolution and revolutionaries. Arthur, the eponymous Gadfly, embodies the tragic Romantic herowho comes of age and returns voyyni 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 Alpsis a pervading focus of the book, with its often lush descriptions of scenery conveying the thoughts and moods of characters. Arthur Burton, an English Catholictravels 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.


Ethel Voynich

Gemma, his 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 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 Gadflythe 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 revolutionarythe reflections on religion and rebellion proved to be ideologically suitable and successful.

The Gadfly was exceptionally popular in the Soviet Unionthe People’s Republic of China and Iran exerting a large liliqn 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.

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The Gadfly – Wikipedia

China, there are several publishers translated the book, and one of them China Youth Press sold more than 2, copies. Inthe 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 Unificationthe novel is totally neglected: 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 The pamphlet gives some idea of the Soviet attitude ood Voynich. Piastra, Luoghi reali e luoghi letterari: Piastra, Il romanzo inglese di Brisighella: Retrieved from ” https: Webarchive template wayback links All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from July EngvarB from December Use dmy dates from December Articles containing Russian-language text All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements voyhi May Articles with Project Gutenberg links.

Views Read Edit View history. This page was last edited on 26 Novemberat By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. First version of cover.