Annie Vivanti

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Annie Vivanti, from a 1910 publication.
Annie Vivanti, from a 1910 publication.

Annie Vivanti Chartres (7 April 1866 – 20 February 1942), also known as Anita Vivanti or Anita Vivanti Chartres, was a British-born Italian writer.[1]

Life and career[edit]

The daughter of Anselmo Vivanti, an Italian exile of Jewish descent, and Anna Lindau, a German writer, she was born in London. Her mother's brothers were Paul and Rudolf Lindau. Her father, a follower of Mazzini, found political asylum in the British capital after the 1851 uprisings in Mantova. Anselmo, a major silk trader, was president of the Società Reduci dalle Patrie Battaglie and of the Italian Chamber of Commerce of New York. She grew up in Italy, England, Switzerland and the United States. In 1890, she published Lirica, a poetry collection, with a preface by Giosuè Carducci. The following year, she published a novel Marion artista di caffè concerto.[1]

With her daughter, Vivien Chartres

In 1892, she married the Anglo-Irish journalist and lawyer John Chartres.[2] For the next 18 years, she lived in England and the USA, and wrote only in English.[1] Her most famous work of this period is The Devourers, published in 1910, which was inspired by her daughter, Vivien Chartres, a violin prodigy.[3] She rewrote the book in Italian as I divoratori in 1911.

Like her husband, who was a member of Sinn Féin, Vivanti supported Irish independence, writing articles for a number of different newspapers and journals, and assisting the Irish delegation in Versailles in 1919. She also defended the Italian cause[clarification needed] in English newspapers during World War I. Following the war, she supported Mussolini and contributed to Italian nationalist newspapers such as Il Popolo d'Italia and L'Idea Nazionale.[1]

In 1941, living in Italy, she was placed under house arrest because of her connections to England; for a time, her books were banned in Italy because of her Jewish parentage. Some sources claim her daughter Vivien committed suicide in London later that same year, although it appears Vivien was killed during an air raid in London in 1941. Shortly before her own death in Turin the following year, Annie Vivanti Chartres converted to Roman Catholicism.[1]

Selected works[edit]


  • The Devourers, novel (1910)
  • Circe, novel (1912)
  • Marie Tarnowska, novel (1915)


  • L'Invasore, play (1916)
  • Vae victis!, novel (1917)
  • Le bocche inutili, play (1918)
  • Zingaresca, short stories (1918)
  • Naja tripudians (1920)
  • Fosca, sorella di Messalina (1922)


  1. ^ a b c d e "Profile: Annie Vivanti Chartres (1866-1942)". Italian Women Writers. University of Chicago Library.
  2. ^ Marrone, Gaetana; Puppa, Paolo; Somigli, Luca (2007). Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies: A-J. p. 2012. ISBN 1579583903.
  3. ^ "Profile: Annie Vivanti Chartres (1866-1942)". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 24 August 2015.


  • Sharon Wood, Erica Moretti, eds. Annie Chartres Vivanti: Transnational Politics, Identity, and Culture. Madison Farleigh

Dickinson University Press, 2016. 312 pp. $95.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-68393-006-8.

External links[edit]