Ann Radcliffe – The Italian

Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian, or the Confessional of the Black Penitents (1797) is  set in 1764, inItaly.
It is the story of a  young nobleman from  Naples, Vincentio di Vivaldi, who falls in love with a beautiful girl  Ellena Rosalba against his mother’s will (=volere).  The Marchesa, Vincentio’s mother, plots (=complotta)  with the mysterious monk (= monaco) Schedoni to kidnap (=rapier) the girl: the couple is arrested and separated before the nuptial ceremony is completed. While Schedoni attempts (= cerca) to kill Ellena, he discovers that she is his own daughter and hides her in a safe (= sicuro) place. Then he saves Vincentio, that is accused by the Inquisition. 
After other complex events, Ellena is revealed to be Schedoni’s  niece (= nipote femmina di zio) whose real father, Schedoni’s brother, is dead. The last twist (= colpo di scena) reveals that Schedoni is of noble origins, therefore (= perciò)  Ellena  can marry Vincentio. The novel ends with a happy marriage between the two, whereas (= mentre)  the Marchesa, Schedoni, and other villains (= cattivi) who helped them, die.
The sombre (=grave) and gloomy (= oscura) atmosphere, the mystery that pervade every moment of the novel are typical of Radcliff’s way of writing. Her favourite issues (= tematiche) are love, devotion and persecution, all of them considered from a religious and nationalistic point of view.
The setting is described in detail, with natural illustration that underline the psychological and emotional portrayal of the characters.