From risorgimento to resistance: intergenerational female literary legacy in the Collier-Galletti-Salvadori Family

Submitting Institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Unit of Assessment

English Language and Literature

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Language, Communication and Culture: Cultural Studies, Literary Studies
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Download original


Summary of the impact

The impact of this case study is located in uncovering the contribution of Margaret Collier to the Anglo-Italian literary and cultural relations from Risorgimento to Resistance through her individual initiative as well as her legacy in the literary works and political commitment of her daughter, Giacinta Galletti, and grand-daughter, Joyce Salvadori. Impact is achieved through disseminating and promoting the understanding of this lesser-known intergenerational female legacy nationally and internationally through publications, conferences, and lectures in public domains; in translating texts previously available only in Italian; in broadening the knowledge of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British literary communities in Italy; and in deepening the understanding of concepts of nationality, multiculturalism, migration, otherness and difference.

Underpinning research

This case study originated from a doctorate funded by the AHRC (competition B) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Science of the University of Hull (maintenance). At the University of Hull, it was also supported by the Carl Baron Memorial Fund (2002, 2004) and the Faculty of Arts Research Fund (2002, 2003, 2004) for fieldwork and the participation in the international debates on women's writing and intertextuality. It is indebted to the British Academy funded, `European Intertexts' project (2000-2004) that encouraged Capancioni's first publication on Joyce Salvadori in 2006 (`"Border-crossing" English: The Poetic Communications of Joyce Lussu', in Macedo, A. G. & Pereira, Esteves M. (eds), Identity and Cultural Translation: Writing Across the Borders of Englishness, Peter Lang, pp. 87-94) and on antifascism, a subject central to the Collier-Galletti-Salvadori's intergenerational Anglo-Italian literary and cultural legacy (2006,`From Independence to Fascism: British Women Writers Depicting Italy in the Interwar Period', in Russell, E. (ed.), Loving against the Odds, Peter Lang, pp. 195-205).

The publication of the first article based on Capancioni's successful doctoral thesis `Anglo-Italian Literary Identity in the Writings of Margaret Collier, Giacinta Galletti and Joyce Salvadori', was in 2007. Since then she has engaged with lay and academic audiences through conferences, research seminars, collaborations, public talks and consultancy taking place in the UK and abroad, and as a member of The British Association of Victorian Studies, The Midlands Interdisciplinary Victorian Studies Seminar and the Lincoln-based, Nineteenth-Century Research Group, the Centro Studi Joyce Lussu (Joyce Lussu Research Centre) and Urbinoir.

Since 2010, her project has been evolving at Bishop Grosseteste University by means of presenting work through Academic Conference or Other Research Activity Fund Scheme (2011, 2012) and the RAE Project Award Scheme (£1,000 in 2010). The latter funded archival research at the Harold Acton Library, Florence, Italy, that resulted in an emphasis on the wider implications of Collier's contribution to Victorian women's responses to Italy challenging a predominant romanticised fictional portrait of pre-unification Italy. Many are the prominent scholars who have studied the contribution of women writers, artists and journalists to Italy's quest for independence favouring the first half of the nineteenth century until what has been defined as a pivotal year, 1859, therefore a time prior to the Italian unification. Her project focuses on engagement with Italian political actuality and the emergency of Italian identity as a nation after the country's unification; it brings to light the ways in which British women writers continued their commitment to Italy's quest for liberty, equality and progress by turning their attention to the Italians. It broadens the knowledge of late nineteenth-century British literary communities in Italy and deepens the understanding of the Risorgimento in the context of Anglo-Italian cultural and literary relations contributing to our understanding of women's writing, multiculturalism and nationhood, and the aesthetics and politics of Anglo-Italian literary communities by covering the work of lesser-known writers. This new direction is illustrated in Anglistica Pisana (2012).

References to the research

Capancioni, C. (2012) `Sherlock Holmes, Italian Anarchists and Torpedoes: The Case of a Manuscript Recovered in Italy', in Vanacker, Sabine and Wynne, Catherine (eds), The Cultural Afterlives of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle: Representations Across the Media, Palgrave [ISBN 978-0-230-30050-7]
`Capancioni's essay proves an inspiring journey into a different cultural imaginary and into Italian politics of adaptation.' Boehm-Schnitker, Nadine, Neo-Victorian Studies 5:2 (2012, p. 222)


Capancioni, C. (2012) `"The strong patriotism with which the hearts of all Italians beat has made them one nation": the Risorgimento in the writings of Margaret Collier', Anglistica Pisana IX: 1 - 2 [ISBN: 9788846735300]


Capancioni, C. (2012) `Joyce Lussu's "Africa, Out of Portugal": translating José Craveirinha, Kaoberdiano Dambarà, Marcelino dos Santos, Agostinho Neto, and Alexander O'Neill in Italian', Scientia Traductionis, published at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil


Capancioni, C. (2011) `Travelling and Translation: Joyce Lussu as a Feminist Cultural Mediator', in Federici, Eleonora (ed.) Translating Gender, Oxford, Bruxelles: Peter Lang, pp. 177-187. [ISBN 978-3-0343-0405-4 pb.; ISBN 978-3-03451-0198-0 eBook]
`and Claudia Capancioni's essay on the crucial role of the translator Joyce Lussu (1912-1998) in opening up selected Anglophone texts to an Italian readership'. Castro, Oolga, Translation Studies 5:3 (2012, p.377)


Capancioni, C. (2009) `"L'altro lato d'Italia": viaggiatrici britanniche alla scoperta delle Marche nell'Ottocento', in Brilli, Attilio and Federici, Elisabetta (eds) Il viaggio e I viaggiatori in età moderna: gli inglesi in Italia e le avventure dei viaggiatori italiani, Edizioni Pendragon, pp. 193-215. [ISBN 978-88-8342-701-5]


Capancioni, C. (2007) `Transmitting Difference: An Anglo-Italian Female Tradition in Joyce Salvadori Lussu's Literary Investigation', in Giorgio, Adalgisa, and Marsh, Rosalind (eds.), Women's Writing in Western Europe: Gender, Generation and Legacy, Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 279-293. [ISBN 9781847181657]


Details of the impact

The research captured by this case study impacted nationally and internationally in cultural life by influencing the dissemination and promotion of an understanding of the literary production of Margaret Galletti di Cadilhac, née Collier (1856 - 1928), Giacinta Salvadori, née Galletti (1875 - 960) and Joyce Lussu, née Salvadori (1912 - 1998); the commemoration of their contribution to Anglo-Italian relations and European history from Risorgimento to Resistance; and the accessibility to some of their works written in Italian. It impacted also in the development of ways in which these women's multiculturalism, antifascism and anti-colonialism, benefit local, national and international people, communities and institutions by deepening the understanding of concepts of nationality, migration, and difference.

The study of the literary production of Collier, Galletti and Salvadori was disseminated and promoted through public national and international engagement with projects, conferences, lectures and commemoration events which Capancioni was invited to, consulted about and participated in as a keynote speaker. Papers on Collier (2008; 2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013) and Salvadori (2009; 2010; 2012) were regularly presented to international audiences. Most of these venues included the wider public. However, this impact case highlights four among them that enthused an understanding of the Collier-Galletti-Salvadoris' Anglo-Italian intergenerational historical, literary and cultural legacy by reaching lay audiences in the Italian region where their descendants still reside, where their legacy has historical as well as literary value as it describes a changing time in the rural southern province of the Marche by the Adriatic coast as Italy moved from unification to the end of the twentieth century. This proves to be an area rarely explored by travellers or tourists, and rarely mentioned in literary English or Italian accounts. In 2007, Prof. Ruggero Ranieri's invitation to `Travel and Travellers in the Modern Age. The discovery of Italy in the English-Speaking World and the Adventures of Italian Travellers', an international conference organised by the Uguccione Ranieri di Sorbello Foundation and held in Perugia, Italy (10-12 May), as a fully-funded guest speaker expert in British women writer and the Marche revealed the originality of Capancioni's research. Her contribution, delivered in Italian to facilitate the lay audience, resulted in a publication in Italian (2009) included in a volume edited by Italy's leading expert in the history of travel writing and travellers to Italy, Prof. Attilio Brilli ( The event was reported by the local university ( and the Italian local and regional media (Nel Centro Online: The volume was launched in two Italian universities, University of Bologna and that of Macerata (11/05/2010; & 09/12/2009) and is now available in libraries world wide.

At the conference `Women Travellers in Italy' (13 February 2008, Centre for Travel Writing Studies, Nottingham Trent University, UK), Capancioni's paper on Collier's published and unpublished writing eased connections with Italian and British historians interested in the Risorgimento that resulted in an invitation to one of the events celebrating the anniversary of the Italian unification in 2011. `Art, Literature, The Press and Exile: Relationships between the United Kingdom and the Italian Risorgimento' was an international congress organised by the Michel de Montaigne Foundation, the University of Pisa, the Istituto Storico Lucchese (Lucca's Historical Institute), and sponsored by the Municipality of Bagni di Lucca, Italy, where it took place (9-11 September). It was covered by the Italian local and national media (; Unito-e-il-Risorgimento-Italiano.html;

Capancioni's dissemination, promotion and understanding of Salvadori's historical and literary contribution began developing an international impact when the Centro Studi Joyce Lussu (Lussu's Centre for Studies, located in Porto San Giorgio, in the Marche, Italy, where the Collier-Galletti-Salvadoris lived) gave her an opportunity to partake as an adviser in the project which led to Salvadori's biography Biografia e Bibliografia Ragionate di Joyce Lussu (Joyce Lussu's Reflective Biography and Bibliography, ISSN 17215269). This was authored by Antonia Langiù and Gilda Traini, and published in 2008 with the sponsorship of the Marche Region to commemorate ten years from her death. Two regions where Salvadori lived and studied local traditions and female storytelling: Marche and Sardinia celebrated it, and in May 2009, it was launched at the most important national Italian book fair in Turin, Fiera del Libro di Torino.

In 2008, Capancioni also collaborated on a publishing project led and edited by Dott. Giorgio Mangani that commemorated Salvadori's work ten years after the death. It was sponsored by the publishing house Il Lavoro Editoriale, where he works. Capancioni advised him on the selection of the texts to be included in the anthology entitled Joyce Lussu Opere Scelte (Selected works by Joyce Lussu, 2008, ISBN 978 8876634215, This gives access to some of Salvadori's most important works, including her autobiographical account of the Italian Resistance, and others that were out-of-print. It is available as an eBook and Kindle edition (ISBN-13: 9788876634215).The relevance of Salvadori's legacy on women and equality, political resistance and freedom, post-colonialism and multiculturalism was emphasised in 2012 by the decision of the Municipality of Fermo, where she lived from the 1970s to her death, to commemorate her hundredth birthday by donating a copy of this anthology to all high schools of its territory (local and regional media reports: Piceno 33; In 2005 Capancioni's bilingualism had already secured her collaboration as a translator to an English publishing project of Il Lavoro Editoriale, led and edited by Mangani The English in The Marche (ISBN 88 7663 388X She translated into English two of Salvadori's works on her ancestors [`Note to Our Home by the Adriatic' (pp. 45-52) and The Story of Adlard Welby (pp. 83-97)], making them available to Anglophone audiences for the first time. She also authored the introductory note to Joyce Lussu (pp. 79 - 81) for this anthology.

In 2012, Salvadori's centenary was commemorated by national and international events such as `Joyce Lussu tra Storia e Futuro' (Joyce Lussu between history and the future) a free, public talk organised and funded by Centro Studi Joyce Lussu on 8 May 2012. Capancioni was invited and funded by the Centro Studi Joyce Lussu to give a keynote in Italian. Three other speakers were invited including another international speaker from the United States. The success of this commemorative occasion was visible: people were standing in a room holding more than hundred people. It was announced and reported by the local official institutions and press organisations. Capancioni commemorated Salvadori's centenary by writing one article for a Brazilian journal (2012) and an essay (2011) on her contribution to antifascism and anti-colonialism and the understanding of concepts of nationality, migration, and difference as a translator. In 2012, she also had the opportunity to celebrate Salvadori's detective fiction with an essay on her contribution to the afterlives of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (2012), and the presentation of this volume to Italian audiences as a guest speaker at `Urbinoir 2012: the Dark Side of Words' (28-30 November 2012). Urbinoir is a centre for crime fiction that has regularly organises events since 2008, of which Capancioni is now a member (

The impact of Capancioni's dissemination, understanding and commemoration of Galletti's historical and literary contribution is limited to one project of international relevance. In 1926, Galletti met the Indian Nobel Prize for Literature, Rabindranath Tagore, and influenced his change of mind on fascism and Mussolini's form of fascism specifically. Historically, the articles written both by Galletti and Tagore in the Manchester Guardian and the documents and correspondence collected in the Tagore Centre, in Santiniketan, only reported Galletti's name under her title as a married woman, Signora Salvadori. When Dr Kalyan Kundu, a founder of the Tagore Centre UK, author and editor of works on Rabindranath Tagore, contacted Capancioni, who could reveal the biographical of this Signora Salvadori, informing him on her antifascism, Resistance, and her writings. Sponsored by The Tagore Centre UK, Kundu's research project became a monograph in 2009 and Capancioni contributed to it as a translator and adviser on Interwar Anglo-Italian anti-fascist activism. She also edited the appendix of historical Italian newspapers articles. It was published in Bengali with the title, Itali safare Rabindranath o Mussolini prasanga" (ISBN 978-8173325618), by Punascha, Kolkata, India. Kundu is finalising a contract for his monograph to be published in English at present.

Sources to corroborate the impact


Further media sources available online