di Lampedusa, Giuseppe: The Leopard
(researched by Pablo Urioste Talamas)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

Giuseppe di Lampedusa. The Leopard. New York, New York: Pantheon Books Inc., 1960. 

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

First American edition is published in trade cloth binding; also published simultaneously in Canada.

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

320 leaves, pp. [1-8] 9-10 [ 13-14] 15-61 [62-64] 65-107 [10-110] 111-156 [157-158] 159-215 [216-218] 219-242 [243-244] 245-273 [274-276] 277-292 [293-294] 295-319 [320]

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

Acknowledgement of princess Alessandra di Lampedusa for her work in translating the book, from the translator, Archibald Colquhoun. Brief introductory notes by Colquhoun on the Resorgimiento (Italian Unification), from the heroics of Garibaldi in Sicily to an abrupt end following his forces’ failure to capture the Papal States.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

Cover art by Enrico Arno. Otherwise, not illustrated. 

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

118R. Text is consistently well printed, the type slender but easily readable. Characters, words and lines comfortably spaced out. Margins slightly larger than usual but not atypical of the time.There are dents on the side of the pages and ocassional random pencil marks on the sides of the pages, which do not seem related to any form of study of the book. 

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

Grainy and thick paper. Mostly straight edges save for one or two missing corners, bent corners and indentations or scratches made throughout the side. Paper has yellowed with time. There are throughout random pencil made lines (e.g. p.125,173), and in pages 307-307 graphite smudges, perhaps thumbrints. Looks like perhaps an owner of the copy was taking notes separately while working through the novel. 

11 Description of binding(s)

Very deep redcloth binding throughout. On the cover, the same Lampedusa  family coat of arms illustrated on the cover is reproduced in black and metallic gold. On the spine, the name of the author is close to the top in metallic gold letters, followed by a black field with the title also in gold but bigger letters, adorned with gold wreaths; following that three motifs of grapevines are staggered one above the other; lastly, the publisher's name is written at the bottom in the same manner as the author's name. 

12 Transcription of title page

Recto of title page:

Giuseppe di Lampedusa| THE LEOPARD| Translated from the Italian by| Archibald Colquhoun| PANTHEON


Centered graphic of the Lampedusa family coat of arms roughly 4in.x 2.5in.


Verso of title page:


Original title: Il Gattopardo, published by Giangiacomo Fel-| trinelli Editore, Milano, Italy • © 1958 by Giangiacomo Feltri-|nelli Editore, Milan, Italy • © 1960 in the English translation, | Wm. Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., London, and Pantheon Books Inc., | New York, NY. • Library of Congress Catalogue Card No.: 60- | 6794 • The characters in this book are fictional • All rights re-| served, including the right to reproduce this book or portions | thereof, in any form • Simultaneously published in Canada by | McClelland & Stuart, Ltd. • Manufactured in the U.S.A

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

Manuscripts conserved by Lampedusa's heirs (The descendants of the author's nephew composer Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi) at the Palazzo Lanza Tomasi, Palermo (the site of Lampedusa's family home). "The building is in part a house-museum dedicated to the author. Manuscript holdings include the complete manuscript of The Leopard, the typescript refused by two publishers before being accepted by Feltrinelli after the author’s death, a draft of the fourth part of the novel, the manuscript of his Childhood Memories and three short stories, and his Lessons of English and French Literature." https://www.butera28.it/palazzo-lanza-tomasi-palermo/

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

Book provenance from the collection of renowned Virginia poet Anne Spencer. No ex-libris present, nor signature nor personal dedication to Mrs. Spencer. This copy was consulted at the University of Virginia Harrison-Small Special Collections Library, call number PQ 4843 .053 G32. 

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A

Yes, although Pantheon was acquired in 1974 by Random House, The Leopard continues to be published under the Pantheon division and has since gone through subsequent editions. In 1991 a new edition was published, both hardcover and paperback; the cover of both contain a well-dressed gentleman, presumably the Prince, as opposed to the original cover with the Lampedusa coat of arms. This edition was published under the publisher or collection “Pantheon Modern Writers.”  In 2007 a new paperback was introduced, the current edition in print. The cover is simpler, in white with gold adornments (see image below). An alternative cover for the 2007 is a bright green field with more graphic looking adornment (also a crown) in bright yellow.

2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?

30,000 by Pantheon according to Publisher Weekly 1960 Apr-June 1960, Vol. 177. 

100,000 between 1959-1960 in Italy. According to Leandro Castinelli in Perche Tanto Gattopardo.

5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

There are the major international editions of the work, namely the Feltrinelli editions (both the original 1959 and a 2002 commemorative edition), the British Harvill Press from 1960 as well as by The Folio Society in 2002, a subsequent 2007 Vintage Classics edition, and later American versions by publishers like Seignet NY (1961), Pocketbooks (1967) and Time Inc. (1966).

6 Last date in print?

Currently in print as 2018.

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

3.2 million copies according to the New York Times in 2008. Most recent figure found.

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

2.2 Million in 1992 according to Leandro Castellani's Perche Tanto Gattopardo in 1992.

3.2 million copies according to the New York Times in 2008. Most recent figure found.


9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

So far only semblance of a paid advertisement was found on Publishers Weekly's Tips: Previews, Promotions, Sales; where a picture of the upcoming book was displayed followed by a brief but flattering conversation with the cover artist about the crest on the book’s jacket. Most mentions of the book deal with it exclusively in literary terms. Seems to have engendered popularity organically.

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

The book was the May 1960 choice for the Book Of the Month Club.  It has been reviewed in magazines of popular circulation, amounting to indirect promotion. These include a review in Harper’s Bazaar in 1960, a review in The New Republic on the 20th of June 1960 by William Jay Smith,a short introduction in The Reporter in 1960 and a review in The New Yorker in 1966 by Edmund Wilson. Most recently, The New York Times wrote about it celebrating the novel's 50th anniversary. A History of Book Publishing in the United States by Tebbel cites over 31 critical sources about The Leopard in the references section. Alderman library holds over a dozen critical books about the novel and its author.

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

The Leopard was adapted into an eponymous major movie by Luchino Visconti in 1963, starring Burt Lancaster as the Prince of Salina, Alain Delon as Count Tancredi, and Claudia Cardinale as Angelica. The movie was a lavish production with large a cast and unique scenery. The Salina family palace is shot at the real summer residence of the Lampedusa’s in Santa Margherita di Belice. The film resulted in commercial success and It is considered a classic, Rotten Tomatoes having given it a score of 100% on the Tomatometer.

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

According to WorldCat, the following translations can be found in libraries around the world.

1958, the year of the books release, saw translations into French, Spanish, German and English. These included : A translation into French by Fenette Pezard and later translated by Jean Paul Manganaro in 1986, the Fernando Gutierrez translation into  Spanish, with a later translation for the Mexican Market by Roberto Mares Ochoa in 2015, (as well as further Spanish dialects such as: A Basque translation in 1995 by Koldo Biguri, A Catalan translation in 1963 by Llorenc Villalonga and a later 2000’s version by Pau Vidal, a 2005 Galician translation by Xavier Rodriguez Baixeras), A 1958 German translation by Charlotte Birnbaum and the English translation of Archibald Urquhart. IN 1959 an Arabic translation appears, with no attributed translator. Likewise, an unattributed translation into Dutch appears in 1960, together with a translation into Slovenian by Ciril Zlobec. In 1961 there were translations by Füsi József into Hungarian and into Japanese by Saku Satu. 1963 saw Jaroslav Pokorný translation into Czech, Zofia Ernstowa’s into Polish and Rui Cabeçadas into Portuguese. Two translations have been made into Russian: G.S. Brejtburda in the early 60’s Eleny Dmitrievoĭ’s during the late 2000’s. The Leopard was translated by Vjera Bakotić Mijušković into Serbian in 1975. In ’82 there was a Croatian translation by Mate Maras and Sanja Roic, as well as a Ukranian Translation by pereklad z Ītalījs'koï in 1985. There is also a 1994 unattributed Hebrew translation.

Furthermore, Publisher’s Weekly mentions the book being circulated in all Scandinavian countries, without specifying if the works were translated into the local languages.

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A

Excerpts published in the magazines The Reporter and Harpers Bazaar. More specific information as to which chapters to come when The Reporter is re-shelved and Harper’s Bazaar delivered from Ivy Stacks.

15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A


Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa was born in Palermo in 1896. His distant father was Giulio Maria Tomasi di Lampedusa, Prince of Lampedusa, and his mother, a strong and lifelong influence, was Beatrice Mastrogiovanni Tasca Filangieri di Cutò. His great grandfather, Don Giulio Fabrizio Tomasi -the last of the Lampedusa to hold major political and economic power in Sicily- served as inspiration for the partially biographic work The Leopard. On his father side he was also related to multiple literary figures, including his laureate cousin Lucio Piccolo and man of letters and nephew Gioacchino Lanza. On his mother side, he was a cousin of the famous 20th century figure Fulco di Verdura.

Giuseppe was raised in an aristocratic and high cultured milieu. His mother’s family money supplied a comfortable lifestyle for the otherwise ruined Lampedusa’s, who had had their estate squandered in lawsuits following Giuseppe’s great-grandfather’s death without a will. The family split their time between their palazzo in Palermo and the Filangieri di Cuto’s summer residence in Santa Margherita di Belize, where theater companies would stage plays for the family within the palace. These palaces would later become the backdrops for the spaces in The Leopard, including filming locations for Visconti’s movie. Lampedusa was largely educated by tutors, his mother and grandmother. The places, sensations and family history, the fleeting sense of a time past, merged with a boy obsessed with observation and record keeping, would later be crucial for the formation of the 20th century Italian literary masterpiece.

Lampedusa studied the law in Genoa and Turin and served as an artillery officer during The Great War. He was captured in battle and escaped from a war prisoner camp in Hungary. During the 20’s Lampedusa suffered a nervous breakdown which discouraged him from a diplomatic career; he continued the rest of the decade lavishly traveling around Europe with his mother. In 1932 he married German-Latvian aristocrat Alexandra von Wolff-Stormersee.  They separated following tensions between Alexandra and Beatrice. In 1940 Lampedusa served again in Marmaduca and was later president of the Sicilian Red Cross. In 1943 an Allied raid bombed Palermo and destroyed the Palazzo Lampedusa, an event that depressed the already somber Lampedusa and intensified the impulse behind the ouvre of immortalizing the Lampedusa family in The Leopard.

By the time he set to write The Leopard in the 1955, Lampedusa had contemplated writing the novel for 25 years. He worked laboriously the next two years and finished the project in 1957. The 22nd of July 1957 Giuseppe di Lampedusa read a rejection letter from the publisher Einaudi. Two days later Lampedusa died from lung cancer. He willed his estate to his cousin Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, with whom he had become close in later years. Lanza Tomasi saw the Leopard through Feltrinelli’s publication in 1958 and managed the subsequent fame of the work and legacy of the author. Lampedusa died childless and with him ended the line of princes of Lampedusa.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

You are not logged in. (Sign in)