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At its first appearance in 1954, this book was hailed by reviewers as the best history of Italian literature ever written in the English language. Over the years it has gained a wide and appreciative circle of readers because it was written for all who are interested in Italian literature, whether or not they have any knowledge of the Italian language or any previous acquaintance with the literature of Italy. In the classroom it has proved to be a comprehensive yet concise introductory textbook; specialist and nonspecialist alike have found it both authoritative and exceptionally readable. This new edition allows the reader to survey Italian literature from 1200 right up to the present day.