Silvio Pellico, an Italian author, born in Saluzzo, Piedmont, June 24, 1789, died at the villa of Moncaglieri near Turin, Jan. 31, 1854. His father, who owned a silk manufactory at Pinerolo, was a man of literary taste. About 1795 the family removed to Turin, and Silvio studied under a priest until he accompanied his sister, on her marriage, to Lyons. The reading of Ugo Foscolo's poem, I sepolcri, which appeared in 1807, made a powerful impression on him, and in 1810 he removed to Milan, taught French, and entering the family of Count Lambertinghi as tutor, became acquainted with many distinguished persons. His first production was the tragedy of Lao-damia. It was followed by Francesca da Rimini, which gave Pellico a high rank as a dramatic poet. Byron translated it into English verse, but did not publish it. Pellico's next work was a translation of Byron's "Manfred." In 1819, with some other literary men, he established a journal called II conciliatore, in which his Eufemio di Messina and Manzoni's Gonte di Garmagnola first appeared. On account of its liberal tendencies it was early subjected to a rigid censorship by the Austrian authorities, and in 1820 it was entirely suppressed. About this time Pellico appears to have become a member of the revolutionary society of the carbonari.
On Oct. 13,1820, he was arrested. He was first confined in the prison of Santa Margherita at Milan, and thence was removed to the leads of Venice, and subsequently to a state prison on the island of San Michele near the latter city. In February, 1822, he was condemned to death, but by an imperial rescript the sentence was commuted to 15 years of severe imprisonment (carcere duro). In April, 1822, he was taken to the prison of the Spielberg near Brtinn in Moravia, where, through the kindness of his jailer, he was treated with comparative indulgence for about 18 months. But the jailer was removed, and his treatment during the remaining years of his imprisonment was exceedingly rigorous. When nearly at the point of death, he was freed by an imperial order on Aug. 1, 1830. He was taken to the Piedmontese frontier, and spent the rest of his life at Turin. In 1831 he published an account of his ten years' suffering in a work entitled Le rnie prigioni ("My Prisons"), which at once became widely celebrated, and was translated into many languages.
His "Works" were published in Padua in 2 vols. (1831); and at Turin, under the title of Tre nuove tragedie, appeared in 1832 a volume containing his Gis-monda da Mendrisio, Leoniero da Dertona, and Erodiade. In 1833 he published the tragedy of Tommaso Moro. In 1837 a collection of his " Inedited Works " appeared in 2 vols. One of his last productions was a religious treatise in prose entitled Dei doveri degli uomini (" The Duties of Man"). His life was written by Chiala (Turin, 1852), and also by Bourdon (Paris, 1868).