Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Marenco

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(1), Carlo, Italian dramatist, born at Cassolo (or Cassolnuovo) in Piedmont in 1800; died at Savona in 1846. He studied law for a while, but finally determined to devote himself to literature. To make sure of a competency he applied for and obtained a public post connected with the Treasury Department of Savona. As a writer, Carlo Marenco belongs to the Romantic school, for he rejects the unity of time in his plays and gives to his plots a more ample development than the classic rules allow. In general his characters are lifelike and his style elegant. Perhaps it may be urged against his tragic plots that they tend unduly to the sentimental. For some of his tragedies he derived inspiration from Dante, as in the "Pia de' Tolomei", the "Corso Donati", and the "Conte Ugolino". In the "Pia" we observe traits of the Roman Lucretia and the Susannah of the Bible combined with characteristics of the Dantesque figure. Of other plays bearing upon more or less historical personages there may be listed "Arnoldo da Brescia", "Berengario", "Arrigo di Svevia", and "Corradino" (see his "Tragedie", Turin, 1837-44, and "Tragedie inedite", Florence, 1856).

(2), Leopoldo, Italian dramatic poet, born at Ceva in 1831; died 1899, son of Carlo Marenco. Like his father he held a government post under the Treasury Department, one which took him to Sardinia. In 1860 he became Professor of Latin literature at Bologna and later occupied a similar chair at Milan. In 1871 he retired to Turin. His plays in verse, written after 1860, are more notable for their lyrical qualities than they are for excellence of dramatic technique. Among them are "Celeste", "Tempeste alpine", "Marcellina", "Il falconiere di Pietra Ardena", "Adelasia" "La famiglia", "Carmela" "Piccarda Donati", "Saffo", "Rosalinda", etc. Subjects from modern and medieval history were treated by him, and he followed his father's example in drawing from Dante. See the collection of his plays, "Teatro di L. M." (Turin, 1884).

J. D. M. FORD.