The Gadfly is a novel by Ethel Lilian Voynich, published in , set in s Italy under the dominance of Austria, a time of tumultuous revolt and upri. The Gadfly – By E. L. Voynich – Arthur Burton, an English Catholic, travels to Italy to study to be a priest. He discovers radical ideas, renounces Catholicism and. The Gadfly [Ethel Voynich] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers . Ethel Voynich’s classic tale of revolution, romance, religion, youth, and loss.

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This is especially explicit at the climax of the book, where sacred descriptions intertwine with reflections on the Gadfly’s fate.

What are they like, gadflly children’s books on which little Russian boys and girls are edu- cated in the virtues of patriotism, courage, spying and purity? Valletta International Baroque Festival.

The Gadfly Series

And so millions of Soviet young people read The Gadfly and found out what a good revo- lutionary was supposed to be like. The Gadfly became even more popular after the appearance in the early s of that other wholesome Soviet best-seller, Nikolai Ostrov- sky’s How the Steel was Tempered: One of them expressed her amaze- ment in her diary: Some months ago I began thinking about Russian children’s books.

Zoom page 17 May Her death was mourned as that of a great national figure. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved 13 July Arthur, the eponymous Gadfly, embodies the tragic Romantic herowho comes of age and returns from abandonment to discover his true state in the world and fight against the injustices of the current one.

With its rich religious imagery and stirring revolutionary themes, The Gadfly has an abiding appeal for lovers of historical fiction, and deserves to be rediscovered in its original language. China, there are several publishers translated the book, and one of them China Youth Press sold more than 2, copies.


Young revolutionaries swore by The Gadfly.

It is all in it: It is a story of faith, disillusionment, revolution, romance, and heroism. By Benjamin Ramm 25 January It is all about the secret societies of the Italian Carbonari in the s and s.

The Irish novel that seduced the USSR

The Gadfly, by Irish writer Ethel Voynich, was a sensation on the other side of the Iron Curtain — gadflh sold over 5 million copies in editions in the 22 languages spoken in the Soviet Union. Spectator Archive by Netcopy. One of the most popular English-language novels of voynkch 20th Century is almost unknown in the English-speaking world — a global phenomenon in translation, now neglected in its original form.

The Gadfly found its largest audience in China — where Montanelli had been a missionary, and where suspicion of the Catholic Church was high. Gadrly landscape of Italy, in particular the Alpsis a pervading focus of the book, with its often lush descriptions of scenery conveying the thoughts and moods of characters.

At the age of 15, Ethel read about the Italian revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini.

With the central theme of the book being the nature of a true revolutionarythe reflections on religion and rebellion proved to be ideologically suitable and successful. Reilly’s Catholic upbringing, his illegitimacy, discovered by accident at the vonyich of nineteen, his betrayal and arrest, his pre- tended suicide and journey to South America —even the details of Reilly’s odd personality and his physical vynich, down to his stammer. From the moment The Gadfly first appeared, its combination of anti-clericalism, revolution- ism and high-coloured romance proved irre- sistible to the Russians.


There the matter rested.

While away he suffers great hardship, but returns with renewed revolutionary fervour. The Bat- talion Commissar gave it to me. If you’ll voynichh quietly I’ll read it to you. Lockhart claims that Reilly and Voynich had a sexual liaison and voyaged to Italy together. The gadf,y, having delivered the obligatory stock sneers about Bulldog Drummond, British Intelligence, John Buchan, the Zinoviev Letter, and old Uncle Percy Blakeney and all, wistfully regretted never having come across progressive children’s books, with a clean-limbed young leftist hero besting the evil forces of imperialism and finance capital; sadly, he even doubted whether anything like that had ever been written.

The Gadfly – Wikipedia

This page was last edited on 26 Novemberat Then the Soviet literary historians had a go. Padre, it is we that are life and youth; it is we that are the everlasting springtime; it is we that are the future!

Since he has already been executed twice—by the forces of reaction as ‘Arthur Burton’ and by the OGPU as Sidney Reilly—they can hardly do much more along these lines. Reilly and Voynich travelled to Italy, where he claims to have told Ethel his life story, elements of which bear striking similarities to the Gadfly.

He is the only foreign spy whose name is known to every educated Russian.