chapter  8
23 Pages

Cavour and the Historians

An early historian who lived through the period of Cavour’s achievements was Luigi Zini. Born in Modena in 1821, Zini published a Storia dltalia dal 1850 al 1866 in four volumes in 1866.1 He was perhaps the first historian fully to analyse the position of Cavour, and if he was full of admiration for the Piedmontese statesman, Zini was also prepared to consider his failings. After pointing out that Massimo d ’Azeglio, for all his virtues, was too closed in his mind to consider any further reduction in the prerogatives of the Crown beyond those secured in 1848, Zini contrasted Azeglio and Cavour. From the ‘sterility of concepts’ from which Azeglio suffered to the ‘vivacity and feverish activity which characterized Cavour’ the change was little less than an ‘upheaval of state’.2