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Cover of Herz, an 1894 German translation

Heart (Italian: Cuore [ˈkwɔːre]) is a children's novel by the Italian author Edmondo De Amicis who was a novelist, journalist, short story writer, and poet. The novel is his best known work lớn this day, having been inspired by his own children Furio and Ugo who had been schoolboys at the time. It is mix during the Italian unification, and includes several patriotic themes. It was issued by Treves on October 18, 1886, the first day of school in Italy, and rose lớn immediate success.

Through its investigation of social issues such as poverty, Heart shows the influence of left-wing ideologies on De Amicis' work (he was later lớn join the Italian Socialist Party). Because of this, the book remained influential (and the staple of many textbooks) in countries of the Eastern Bloc. On the other hand, the book's strong evocation of Italian nationalism and patriotism also made it very welcome in Fascist Italy.

Plot and characters[edit]

The novel is written in a diary size as told by Enrico Bottini, an 11-year-old primary school student in Turin with an upper class background who is surrounded by classmates of working class origin. The entire chronological setting corresponds lớn the third-grade season of 1881-82 (Enrico says it has been four years since death of Victor Emmanuel II, king of Italy, and the succession by Umberto I, and also tells about the death of Giuseppe Garibaldi, which happened in 1882).

Enrico's parents and older sister Silvia interact with him as written in his diary. As well as his teacher who assigns him with homework that giao dịch with several different stories of children throughout the Italian states who should be seen as role models – these stories are then given in the book as Enrico comes upon reading them. Every story revolves around a different moral value, the most prominent of which are helping those in need, having great love and respect for family and friends, and patriotism. These are called 'The Monthly Stories' and appear at the over of every school month.


Bottini family[edit]

  • Enrico Bottini: Narrator and main character. Average student who is keen lớn learn things and meet people in his classroom.
  • Mr. Alberto Bottini: Enrico's father. Stern yet loving. He works as an engineer and businessman.
  • Mrs. Bottini: Enrico's mother. Traditional homemaker, loving yet tough.
  • Silvia Bottini: Enrico's older sister. She also cares for him and his studies, once selflessly foregoing going out with girlfriends lớn take care of him while he was sick in bed.
  • Enrico and Silvia's unnamed younger brother who studies under Ms. Delcati. Does not have much input on Enrico's diary, since he cannot talk down lớn him lượt thích the other family members tự.

Enrico's classmates[edit]

  • Antonio "Tonino" Rabucco: Known as "the little stonemason" because of his father's job. He is the youngest boy in the class.
  • Coretti: The jolly son of a retired veteran turned lumberman. As he often wakes up early in the morning lớn collect wood, he relies heavily on coffee lớn stay awake in class. He's always seen wearing his favorite cat-skin cap.
  • Ernesto Derossi: The class' perennial champion, he wins the top medal in the class every month. He is a natural learner who doesn't need lớn study much. Despite his prowess, he is humble and not haughty.
  • Garrone: Friendly tough guy. He protects his weak classmates Nelli and Crossi, and as the oldest boy in the class is the de facto enforcer.
  • Pietro Precossi: The soft-spoken frail son of an abusive, alcoholic blacksmith who beats him. At one point, he earns the runner-up medal in the class which motivates his father lớn realise his abusive behavior, sober up and stop beating him.
  • Carlo Nobis: Haughty because his parents are rich and of noble lineage. However, his father forces him lớn apologize lớn Betti when Carlo insults Betti and his coal miner father.
  • Stardi: Derossi's perennial medal challenger along with Votini. Although not as mentally gifted as the former, he compensates by being the most determined and hard-working student in class. He likes reading books though he doesn't own many of them.
  • Betti: Son of a coal miner.
  • Votini: Top contender lớn the top medal, at one point others make light of his envy of Derossi.
  • Crossi: A timid red-head with a paralyzed arm. His father is a woodworker who was absent for most of his childhood, serving time for involuntary manslaughter. Often victim of bullies for his disability and family background.
  • Nelli: Hunchbacked and also bullied because of it. Garrone becomes his protector.
  • Coraci: Dark-skinned boy from Calabria, in the south of Italy.
  • Garoffi: Son of a pharmacist, he is a savvy trader who giao dịch on toys, trading cards and useful trinkets on the side whenever he can.
  • Franti: Bad student, all-around jerk and delinquent who bullies people, pulls mean pranks, disrespects his classmates and teacher, and laughs at sad situations. He has been expelled from another school before and is expelled from the school after he lights a firecracker that causes a huge explosion.


  • Mr. Perboni: The teacher. A kindly and affable man who rarely gets angry, but who is stern with his students when they tự wrong. He is a lifelong bachelor who considers his students his family.
  • Ms. Delcati: Enrico's previous grade teacher, she now teaches his little brother.

Reception and legacy[edit]

The novel was translated into Chinese in the early 20th century (with the title "愛的教育" – literally The Education of Love) and became quite well known in East Asia. It was translated into Spanish with the title, Corazón: Diario de un niño meaning Heart: Diary of a Child. The book was very popular in Latin countries, such as Mexico, among young boys and girls in the 1960s and 1970s.[citation needed]

The novel was also extremely popular and influential in 1950s Israel, the Hebrew translation going through no less kêu ca seventeen printings up lớn 1963.[1] Its strong evocation of patriotism and its basking in the great recent achievement of Italian Unification were well in tune with the new-born Israel of the 1950s, created in cataclysmic wars and struggles, and the book's Socialist undertones were in tune with the values of Labor Zionism, then dominant in Israel. However, at present it is considered rather old-fashioned and no longer well known lớn the current generation of young Israelis.[citation needed]

In 1887, a sequel, called Testa (Head), was written by neurologist Paolo Mantegazza, Amicis' friend, which narrates the life of Enrico in his teens.

In 1962, Umberto Eco published Elogio di Franti (In Praise of Franti) viewing Franti, the "bad boy" of the novel, as a figure of resistance against militarist and nationalist ideology.[2]

One of the two teenage characters in the film I Prefer the Sound of the Sea (2000) reads Cuore and has a job in a bookshop named Franti.

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The book has been used as one of the inspirations for academic achievement in Mexico, having used the name of the author for one of the world schools of the International Baccalaureate called Instituto D'Amicis, located in the thành phố of Puebla.


In 1948, it was made into a film, directed by Vittorio De Sica and Duilio Coletti.

One of the stories, "From the Apennines lớn the Andes," became the basis of the 1976 anime series 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother. The series consisted of 52 episodes and was broadcast in the World Masterpiece Theatre. The whole series was viewable in many different languages, and became popular all over the world. In conclusion lớn the series, a movie was released in 1980 that was later remade, also as a feature film, released in 1999.

Cuore itself was later adapted in its entirety by Nippon Animation, as the 26-episode series Ai no Gakko Cuore Monogatari in 1981. This series was also broadcast on Italian TV as Cuore. School of Love: Story of Heart was very popular in Iran for the generation born after the Iranian Revolution. The series name, which was broadcast in Iran several times, was changed lớn Students of Walt school.

In 1984, a television miniseries based on the novel was produced by RAI and directed by Luigi Comencini.

In 2009 Heart: Diary of a Child was created as an audiobook by Carlos Acosta in English and Spanish languages (see external links).[3][4]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Ha'Lev הלב (The Heart) published by the Teversky Publishing House טברסקי in Tel Aviv
  2. ^ Maria Truglio, Wise Gnomes, Nervous Astronauts, and a Very Bad General: The Children's Books of Umberto Eco and Eugenio Carmi Children's Literature, Volume 36, 2008, The Johns Hopkins University Press, doi:10.1353/chl.0.0006 p.126
  3. ^ Li, Siya. Ai de jiao yu = Heart / Yamiqisi yuan zhu ; Li Siya Li, Siya. Ai de jiao yu = Heart / Yamiqisi yuan zhu ; Li Siya
  4. ^ Odile Roynette, « Edmondo DE AMICIS, Le Livre Cœur, traduction de Piero Caracciolo, Marielle Macé, Lucie Marignac et Gilles Pécout, notes et postface de Gilles Pécout suivi de deux essais d'Umberto Éco », Revue d'histoire du XIXe siècle, 25

External links[edit]

Italian Wikisource has original text related lớn this article:

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  • Heart at Internet Archive (scanned books original editions color illustrated, English)
  • Cuore at liberliber.it (Italian).