A lost literary classic, written in 1894, The Viceroys is one of the most acclaimed masterworks of Italian realism. The novel follows three generations of the aristocratic Uzeda family as it struggles to hold on to power in the face of the cataclysmic changes rocking Sicily. As Garibaldi's triumphs move Italy toward unification, the Uzedas try every means to retain their position. De Roberto's satirical and mordant pen depicts a cast of upper-class schemers, headed by the old matriarch, Donna Teresa, and exemplified by her arrogant and totally unscrupulous son, Consalvo, who rises to political eminence through lip service, double-dealing, and hypocrisy. The Viceroys is a vast dramatic panorama: a new world fighting to shrug off the viciousness and iniquities of the old.
Federico De Roberto (1861-1927) was an Italian writer, who became well-known for his novel I Vicere (1894), translated as The Viceroys. He began his writing career as a journalist for national newspapers, where he met Giovanni Verga and Luigi Capuana. Verga introduced him into the literary circles of Milan. He wrote several books, and in 1894 his novel I Vicere was published.