Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis

By Ugo Foscolo

Translated by J.G. Nichols

ISBN: 9781847498403

160 pages

RRP: £6.39

Saddened by the subjugation of Italy under Napoleon, disillusioned with life and racked with loneliness and ennui, university student Jacopo Ortis finds comfort only in the company of his friends and in his love for Teresa. But when his studies call him back to Padua and he is separated from her, Jacopo’s torments become unbearable, and he feels that there is only one way out of his misery – a symbolic gesture against fate, God and all the tyrants of this world.

Said to be based on the tragic real-life story of the Italian student Girolamo Ortis, and suffused with the author’s own experiences, Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis is a masterly prose work by one of Italy’s most celebrated poets, and perhaps the greatest Italian novel of the Romantic period.


  • Foscolo’s social sensitivity is unexpectedly apparent in the pages of this novel, and leaves one amazed by its almost anarchic lucidity.

    Valerio Massimo Manfredi

Ugo Foscolo

Ugo Foscolo (1778–1827) is one of the most popular and studied Italian poets. He is most famous for his long poem ‘On Sepulchres’, and his unfinished work The Graces. After a life of wanderings, he ended up in London, where he spent the last eleven years of his life mixing with high society and the greatest writers of the day, including Lord Byron. He died in poverty in Turnham Green, now part of London, and his tomb can still be seen in the Chiswick Old Cemetery.