Elisabetta Caminer Turra’s Editorial Strategies for Introducing English Novels in Italy through her Periodicals

  • Andrea Penso Vrije Universiteit Brussel


This article investigates the figure of Elisabetta Caminer Turra (1751–96) and the role she played in the Italian reception of English novels during the eighteenth century. One key characteristic of Caminer Turra’s editorship of Giornale enciclopedico (1774–82), Nuovo giornale enciclopedico (1783–89), and Nuovo giornale enciclopedico d’Italia (1790–96) was the diffusion of foreign culture in the Italian peninsula: during her career she always aimed at the renovation and improvement of the intellectual milieu of the time. Caminer Turra’s journals played an important role in the Italian reception of foreign literature during the second half of the eighteenth century. The goal of this study is to show (a) how English novels were reviewed, censored, and introduced to the Italian public through the many articles, reviews, and announcements that appeared in the journals she supervised, and (b) to examine, from a stylistic, thematic, and political point of view, the ways in which she played her role as maker of culture and arbiter of taste, in order to clarify the importance of her function as a cultural mediator.