Supporter of Italian independence Sarina Nathan was born Sarina Levi on 7 December 1819 at Pesaro on the Adriatic coast into a Jewish merchant family. After her mother’s early death, she was sent to Leghorn (Livorno), where Jews were in less danger of persecution than in the papal territory. There she met and married Frankfurt-born Meyer Moses Nathan, and the couple moved to London in 1836/7.
All twelve of their children were born in London. She met Giuseppe Mazzini at a social occasion in London out of which grew a close friendship. Sarina returned to Italy in 1859 following her husband’s death, but she was considered a ‘danger’ and was forced to flee to Switzerland. For ten years she lived at Lugano where her house named La Tanzina became a centre for the planning of a Republican revolution. In 1872 Sarina and three of her children were present when Mazzini died at Pisa. For the remaining ten years of her life she devoted herself to the publication of Mazzini’s writings, after purchasing the copyright from his sister and publisher. She died in February 1882 in London, at no. 13 Portsdown Road, Kensington, and was buried in Rome.