This study charts the resonance of John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, known more commonly as Fanny Hill, in the Italian peninsula in the long eighteenth century. It discusses and compares four different editions of Italian translations of the novel as well as its status as a banned and dangerous book that was continually reprinted despite attempts to censor it. This article identifies Venetian playwright and aristocrat Carlo Gozzi as translator of the first Italian-language edition of Fanny Hill, titled La Meretrice and published in 1764. All subsequent editions cited were based upon Gozzi’s translation. This essay considers the Italian context for the translation of Cleland’s novel, in particular, the local realities and literary taste of Gozzi and his followers for whom the novel and Fanny herself threatened the Italian poetic tradition and the legacy of its literary icons: Dante’s Bea-trice and Petrarch’s Laura.
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Research Article| April 01 2019
Just an “English Whore?”: Italian Translations of Fanny Hill and the Transcultural Novel
Eighteenth-Century Life (2019) 43 (2): 137–161.
Clorinda Donato; Just an “English Whore?”: Italian Translations of Fanny Hill and the Transcultural Novel. Eighteenth-Century Life 1 April 2019; 43 (2): 137–161. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00982601-7492931
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