This is a translation of a text from 1861, unreleased outside Spain, written by an alleged eyewitness to the events of the Risorgimento, as they happen. After an introduction on the framework of the European and Italian political situation that led to the “Expedition of the Mille”, the book tells in detail the story of Francis II of Bourbon, ascended the throne of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to just 23 years for premature death of his father Ferdinand II, immediately forced to defend his kingdom from attack by partisans first and then Piedmont, immobility in front of all the European powers, and with France and England interested and conniving with the invaders. The result is a historical portrait contrarily compared to the dominant opinion of Piedmontese winners, issued since then and still popular today, on the much reviled “Franceschiello”, did all of moving impulses of love for his people, heroism and unsuspected wisdom which surely today helps to rehabilitate the character; while they are highlighted the perfidious plots hatched by the enemies of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the betrayals of many politicians and military Bourbon and the acts of barbarism committed by fierce partisans and Piedmontese to achieve their purpose. The peculiarity of this work, in addition to the chronological description of situations and events during their course, of which has a great importance the siege of Gaeta, are the faithful references to documents issued then by Francis II and the government of the Two Sicilies sent to the European powers, in which the author for his alleged privileged position certainly had the access, and its “instantly” considerations to comment the events. Anyway, recognizing the indisputable value of the Unification of Italy, this text adds further details of the historical background of the Italian Risorgimento supplying a different reading and suggesting a properly historical review after more than 150 years after the events occurred.
Published in Madrid and Barcelona on 1861 and written by Romualdo M. de Velazquez.
Translation by Salvatore Pastorello.