Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1824-1854 - Charlotte Street (Fitzrovia)

Scholar, poet, and activist Gabriele Pasquale Rossetti was born on 28 February 1783 in Vasto, Kingdom of Naples. The son of a blacksmith, he made an impressive early career. In 1807 he was librettist at the San Carlo opera house in Naples and was later appointed curator of ancient marbles and bronzes in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples. His political poetry caused him trouble. As a member of the revolutionary society of Carbonari, he directed his anger against Ferdinand II who had revoked the Constitution in 1821. Gabriele was sentenced to death. He escaped to England in 1824 never to see his homeland again. There he supported himself by giving Italian lessons and wrote an unfinished commentary on Dante’s La divina commedia (1825/6). In 1826 he married Frances Mary Polidori, deemed the cleverest of four daughters of another Italian man of letters, Gaetano Polidori. The couple lived at no. 38 Charlotte Street. It was here that Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born. Gabriele was appointed Professor of Italian at King’s College, London, in 1831. He held this post until his retirement in1847. He died in London in April 1854.

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