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I Promessi Sposi, the Betrothed:
This is in form an historical novel. It is rather psychological and sentimental. The scene is laid in Lombardy between 1628-1631, and the plot deals with the thwarting of the love of two peasants by a local tyrant. The manners of the time are presented with great vividness and picturesqueness. The novel has taken a place as the most distinguished novel of modern Italy. [via]