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Writers
borndied
1804, Dec 51895, Mar 15
an Italian historian. While in prison writing materials were denied him, but he managed to write on rags with a tooth-pick and candle smoke, and thus composed the novel Margherita Pusterla (Milan, 1838). On his release a year later, as he was interdicted from teaching, literature became his only recource. In 1836 the Turinese publisher, Giuseppe Pomba, commissioned him to write a universal history, which his vast reading enabled him to do. In six years the work was completed in seventy-two volumes, and immediately achieved a general popularity; the publisher made a fortune out of it, and Cantù's royalties amounted, it is said, to 300,000 lire (£12,000).
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