‘A MONUMENT OF ETERNAL MEMORY AND GRIEF’

Memorie sulla vita di Donna Giuseppina Passi nata Marchesa Lomellini di Genova.

Bergamo, Stamperia Mazzoleni, 1832.

8vo, pp. 31, [1, admittitur]; light marginal foxing; otherwise a very good copy in near-contemporary purple marbled paper over pasteboard; some wear to spine.

£300

Approximately:
US $389€356

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Memorie sulla vita di Donna Giuseppina Passi nata Marchesa Lomellini di Genova.

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Scarce first edition of a touching memorial to Giuseppina Passi (1809–1831), born Marchioness Lomellini of Genoa, who died after complications in childbirth at the age of twenty-one.

The account of her life, written by her brother-in-law Marco Passi, is followed by two sonnets to console her grieving husband. Giuseppina is remembered as exceptionally pious and caring, having cared for her siblings after the premature death of her own mother. She donated most of her annual allowance to the poor and tended to the sick in a Milanese hospital; within her own family, she refused to leave the bedside of ailing relatives, taking a servant into her home to convalesce after a period of illness.

After losing two children in infancy, she developed a high fever after the birth of the third. Passi, a priest himself, recalls his sister-in-law’s final moments: a doctor came to examine her and, noting her joyful demeanour, asked if her health had improved. She was so exuberant, she said, because she had just received the last rites. Weeping profusely, the doctor said later that he ‘never again witnessed such Christian resolution and acceptance in the face of death’ (p. 24, trans.).

She was so deeply mourned that three further editions of Marco Passi’s Memorie were published, in 1833, 1844, and 1853.

We find three copies of the present edition, all in Italy. OCLC records only one copy (the 1844 edition) in the US, at the University of Illinois.

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