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Family Memory and Individual Memory: Florentine Private Diaries and Family Books of the Early Modern Period

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the Italian situation, and more precisely that of Tuscany, which is anyway thought to be among the first to have produced specific forms of family memory. It examines, starting from the data from one systematic survey of Tuscan family books from the 16th-18th centuries, the characteristics of the evolution of the writing about oneself as individual in relation to the writing about oneself as part of a family group. A real diversification between family book and individual autobiography occurs especially with the 18th century, in the sixteenth century there were mixed forms of memoir that are interesting to consider in their details and in their chronological evolution. The chapter mentions one famous example, that of Francesco Guicciardini. His ricordanze are a clear case of a family book in which the first part is dedicated retrospectively to the events in the personal life of the writer.

Keywords: family book; Florence; Francesco Guicciardini; individual autobiography; Italy; Tuscany



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