Emilia in England and Italy
DOI link for Emilia in England and Italy
Emilia in England and Italy book
Although they share the same heroine - the half-English, halfItalian cantatrice, Emilia Alessandra Belloni - Sandra Belloni and Vittoria are strikingly dissimilar novels. Originally they were to have been more closely related. Meredith seems to have planned the later novel as a sequel to the earlier and to have changed his mind during the long process of writing and rewriting so as to make Vittoria not only independent of its predecessor, but a contrast in style and structure. 2 This change of mind seems partly to have resulted from a desire to make a more popular appeal by increasing and clarifying the narrative interest. More powerful motives were Meredith's dissatisfaction with Sandra Belloni and his desire to experiment with new techniques in order to create a more satisfactory medium for his thought. In Sandra Belloni Meredith tried to combine the presentation of an individual case with an extended analysis of a whole society. In Vittoria he attempted a similar task with different techniques and came closer to success. In neither of the novels did he achieve complete fusion of both aspects of his subject matter in artistic form, but together they show a developing technical maturity and represent an important phase of the novelist's struggle to realize in one fiction the full complexity of his vision of human life.