Spose di guerra: dramma in un atto [War Brides: drama in one act]. New York: Casa ed. "Il Martello", [1915].

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Title

Spose di guerra: dramma in un atto [War Brides: drama in one act]. New York: Casa ed. "Il Martello", [1915].

Description

This feminist, anti-war play is the best known work of socialist and suffragette Wentworth (b. 1872 - d. 1942); it's a topic that would have appealed to Carlo Tresca, proprietor of Il Martello and its book publishing arm. Tresca also used the "Libreria Rossa" imprint (see below), e.g., in other publishing, including his magazine Guardia Rossa. q.v. 

The story of the play is of a war bride widow who commits suicide rather than bear more children for a nation that allows her no say in its decision-making about war. It was one of the most successful plays in its original English of 1915. Its translation into Italian seems to have been done in the same year. It is the sort of play that Italians would have loved to perform in Primo Maggio celebrations.

For Italian performances, the reader was direced to "our representative Paolo Valera" in Milan. Seven years later, Il Martello would publish Il fascismo of Valera (b. Como 1850 - d. Milano 1926), who was a prolific journalist and novelist. The translation of Wentworth's play was authorized by Zino Fioretti.

It is one of two works that Il Martello translated from English into Italian that we have found. The other is Eugene Lyons' Vita e morte di Sacco e Vanzetti (Il Martello, 1928), q.v., based on the English original published in 1927 by International Publishers, q.v.

A particularly interesting feature of the current work is that it includes four photographs drawn from the production with Madam Alla Nazimova in the leading role.

This imprint is somewhat more lavishly produced, especially on better quality paper, than many Il Martello publications. It was printed by the De Pamphilis Press of 51 Greenwich Avenue in New York City.

De Pamphilis had also printed a 1909 work of the other Tresca imprint, the Libreria Rossa, entitled Il mondo e le sue trasformazioni: dialoghi fra il nonno e la sua nepote by Paraf-Javal, translated from the French original, q.v.

The name "Libreria Rossa" name adorned Carlo Tresca letterhead, at least in 1919, see holographic letter of Tresca's in the collection. So De Pamphilis may have done work for Tresca under whichever of his imprints he happened to be using.

Besides this work, and the Paraf-Javal translation, Libreria Rossa also published, in 1921, Se si farà la rivoluzione in Italia, si morrà di fame? There is also an association of the name "Libreria Rossa" with that of Elvira Catello, a New York bookseller and book publisher. See description of another work in the Collection, Il mondo e le sue trasformazioni: dialoghi fra il nonno e la sua nepote, which was also published by De Pamphilis Press.

Finally, "Librerie Rosse" - the plural, Red Bookstores - was a term used generally to described leftist bookstores in the Italian communities of the U.S.

Creator

Marion Craig Wentworth

Source

Copyright The Century Co., 1915; translation "authorized" by Zino Fioretti.

Publisher

Casa ed. "Il Martello"

Date

[1915]

Format

20 x 13.5cm; 70 p.

Language

Italian

Citation

Marion Craig Wentworth, “Spose di guerra: dramma in un atto [War Brides: drama in one act]. New York: Casa ed. "Il Martello", [1915].,” Italian-Language American Imprints: The Periconi Collection, accessed December 6, 2022, https://italianamericanimprints.omeka.net/items/show/374.

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