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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For I had certainly read such books—hundreds of them, in fact. He becomes a journalist, expounding radical ideas in brilliant satirical tracts published under the pseudonym “the gadfly”. Yet strangely enough the most popular work vohnich homiletic children’s fiction in the USSR is an English novel—even though no non-communist Englishman I know has ever heard of the book or even its author.

If you’ll sit quietly I’ll read it to you. The book was translated into RusSian the year after its English publication: 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. View image of Credit: Ovod for which Dmitri Shostakovich wrote the score.

The gadfly and the spy

But Arthur, unforgiving and uncompromising, demands that his father renounce voynixh church. Arthur fakes suicide and escapes to South America, when he reappears years later as the mysterious and dreaded revolutionary, ‘The Gadfly,’ unrecognised by all except the readers. Montanelli also dies, having lost his faith and his sanity.

The evidence demonstrates that a liaison of some sort took place between Reilly and her in Florence, From that day on the old lady’s home became a place of pil- grimage for every Soviet visitor to the us— a kind gadflu New York Marx’s grave. For a very long time, however, its author remained some- thing of a mystery.


Yet one last mystery still remained unsolved.

The Gadfly by E. L. Voynich – Full Text Free Book

A thread of a tragic relationship between Arthur and his love, Gemma, simultaneously runs through the story. Come out of this plague-stricken Gzdfly — come away with us into the light! By Benjamin Ramm 25 January Eventually Arthur is captured by the authorities and executed by a firing squad.

The Gadfly, by Irish writer Ethel Voynich, was a sensation on the other side of the Iron Curtain — it sold over 5 million copies in editions in the 22 languages spoken in the Soviet Union. The Russian journalists eagerly put the question to Mrs Voynich. I can hardly gadflyy that this meeting actually took place.

Yet as the Cultural Revolution progressed, and the cult of Mao deepened, the rebellious Gadfly was suppressed, for fear it would be turned against the father figure of modern China.

The Gadfly’ is Sidney Reilly. That night Polevoi wrote in his diary: The local authorities are soon dedicated to capturing him. But anyway, things could never be the same again: Young revolutionaries swore by The Gadfly.

And so millions of Soviet young people read The Gadfly and found out what a good revo- lutionary was supposed to be like. She could hardly believe it. First version of cover. The Bat- talion Commissar gave it to me. In the company of his childhood sweetheart Gemma, Arthur becomes involved in the Young Italy movement fighting Austrian imperial rule.

Piastra, Luoghi reali e luoghi letterari: After their brief affair had concluded, Voynich published in her critically acclaimed novel, The Gadflythe central character of which, Arthur Burton, was allegedly based on Sidney Reilly’s own early life. In the end he is caught, sentenced and executed; the last rites are administered. The reviewer, 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.


Spotted a problem with this article? The Soviet journalists were, if anything, even more astonished: The hero is a young Englishman, Arthur Burton, a devout Catholic, who gets mixed up with the revolutionaries—and suddenly discovers not only that he has unwittingly betrayed his com- rades to the police through the perfidy of his father-confessor, but also that he is the illegitimate son of another Catholic priest whom he loves and admires, one Montanelli.

The Gadfly by E. L. Voynich

Spectator Archive by Netcopy. Inthe Soviet director Aleksandr Faintsimmer adapted the novel into a film of the same title Russian: After his capture, he is visited by Montanelli, now a cardinal, who offers him a lifeline. I must have been about ten when I first read The Gadfly, but as I was already familiar with some much better books, even at that tender age I found it hard to swallow Mrs Voynich’s preposterous plot and gushing romantic soppi- ness.

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. It was all so long ago. Montanelli refuses and condemns his son to death.

Greatly intrigued, she decided to make him the hero of her next novel. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.