Ugo Foscolo  

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Ugo Foscolo (February 6, 1778 - September 10, 1827), Greek-Italian writer, was born at Zakynthos in the Ionian Isles in 1778. On the death of his father, a physician in Split, Croatia , the family removed to Venice, and at the University of Padua Foscolo completed the studies begun at the Dalmatian grammar school.

Ultime lettere di Jacopo Ortis (The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis) (1798) is his best-known work. It was described by the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica as a more politicized version of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther, "for the hero of Foscolo embodies the mental sufferings and suicide of an undeceived Italian patriot just as the hero of Goethe places before us the too delicate sensitiveness embittering and at last cutting short the life of a private German scholar."

The story of Foscolo, like that of Goethe, had a groundwork of melancholy fact. Jacopo Ortis had been a real person; he was a young student of Padua, and committed suicide there under circumstances akin to those described by Foscolo.

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