Life in the Country

By Giovanni Verga

Translated by J.G. Nichols

ISBN: 9781847497710

114 pages

RRP: £4.79

Published in 1880, one year before Verga’s influential novel The Malavoglias, Life in the Country first marked his stylistic shift towards the verismo school of Italian realism. The collection’s centrepiece, ‘Rustic Honour’ (‘Cavalleria rusticana’) – which was famously adapted into a play by the author before becoming an opera by Mascagni – tells the tale of Turiddu, a poor young man who returns from military service and finds himself embroiled in adultery and a feud with a rival.

Also including the well-known stories ‘She-Wolf’ and ‘Foxfur’, Life in the Country captures, in an objective, non-judgemental prose, the difficult conditions and personal struggles of the peasant class in his native Sicily at the turn of the twentieth century.

Contains: ‘A Reverie’, ‘Jeli the Herdboy’, ‘Nasty Foxfur’, ‘Rustic Honour’, ‘She-Wolf’, ‘Bindweed’s Lover’, ‘The War of the Saints’ and ‘Crackpot’.

Part of 101-Page Classics series of Great Rediscovered Classics


  • I love Life in the Country, for reasons to do with undemonstrative compassion and self-abnegating understanding – qualities as abiding in great art as they are sporadic in day-to-day existence.

    Paul Bailey

Giovanni Verga

Giovanni Verga (1840–1922) was an Italian novelist, short-story writer and playwright, celebrated for realistic depictions of rural Sicily in the newly unified Italy.