Chapter

The Duchy

Lucy Riall

in Under the Volcano

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199646494
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744815 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646494.003.0002
The Duchy

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What kind of place was Bronte? Nobody knew anything about it. The community was located on the remote, western side of Mount Etna: it was a beautiful spot with commercial potential but it was also isolated, dangerous and unfriendly. The town was filled with poor peasants who were oppressed by a few rich landowners; the whole area was threatened by regular volcanic eruptions and outbreaks of disease (notably, malaria); and the Duchy headquarters at Maniace, where the British planned to live, had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1693 and never rebuilt again. The community also enjoyed a dubious reputation for violence and savagery.

Keywords: Mount Etna; volcanic eruptions; latifondo; Maniace; malaria; Nebrodi; peasant poverty

Chapter.  6997 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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