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eBook The Trials of Maria Barbella: The True Story of a 19th-Century Crime of Passion ePub

eBook The Trials of Maria Barbella: The True Story of a 19th-Century Crime of Passion ePub

by Idanna Pucci

  • ISBN: 0679776044
  • Category: Americas
  • Subcategory: History
  • Author: Idanna Pucci
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (March 11, 1997)
  • Pages: 316
  • ePub book: 1893 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1932 kb
  • Other: lrf docx lrf mbr
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 855

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I absolutely love the story of Maria Barbella, an Italian immigrant in the Mulberry District of New York City, slitting the throat of her lover, going . It was interesting to find out how the prison system worked in the late 20th century

It was interesting to find out how the prison system worked in the late 20th century.

Domenico Cataldo sat studying his cards in a saloon on East 13th Street. Dominated by the ruins of a tenth century castle, the grounds of Brazza are laden with snow

By Idanna Pucci, Stefania Fumo. Domenico Cataldo sat studying his cards in a saloon on East 13th Street. He was looking forward to boarding a ship leaving for Italy that very afternoon. Dominated by the ruins of a tenth century castle, the grounds of Brazza are laden with snow. Nearby is the chapel, where years later I was baptized and where, in turn, I baptized my doll.

by. Pucci, Idanna, 1945-.

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book by Idanna Pucci .

Author: Idanna Pucci. The True Story of the Bilderberg Group. Chizmar, Richard - Crime of Passion. The True Story Of The Kelly Gang. The Crimes of Paris A True Story of Murder, Thefction. The Pearl of Lima A Story of True Love.

The True Story of a 19th-Century Crime of Passion. Category: 19th Century . Mar 11, 1997 316 Pages. Idanna Pucci tells this story with immediacy, passion and authority that no other author could have mustered, since Pucci is the great-granddaughter of Cora Slocomb, the American-born Italian aristocrat whose ingenious advocacy saved Maria’s life.

Manufacturer: Vintage Release date: 11 March 1997 ISBN-10 : 0679776044 ISBN-13: 9780679776048.

Barbella, an immigrant seamstress in New York's Little Italy, was the lover of an impoverished shoeshine man named Domenico Cataldo, who seduced her by slipping knockout drops in her soda.

Translated by Stefania Fumo. Barbella, an immigrant seamstress in New York's Little Italy, was the lover of an impoverished shoeshine man named Domenico Cataldo, who seduced her by slipping knockout drops in her soda. Cataldo beat her, cheated on her and hired a prostitute to follow her around and taunt her, hoping Maria would go mad and fling herself into the river. Still, Maria begged him to marry her, and her whole family wore a path to his door petitioning Cataldo to set a date.

In 1895, an Italian seamstress in New York was accused of killing the man who had raped her, promised to marry her, and was about to abandon her. Following a sensational trial conducted in a language she could not understand, Maria Barbella, at the age of twenty-two, became the first woman sentenced to die in the newly invented electric chair. Idanna Pucci tells this story with immediacy, passion and authority that no other author could have mustered, since Pucci is the great-granddaughter of Cora Slocomb, the American-born Italian aristocrat whose ingenious advocacy saved Maria's life. The result is not only a crime story with all the fury and pathos of classic opera, but a perceptive study of an earlier generation's attitudes toward immigrants, capital punishment, and a woman's right to reject the role of victim.

Comments

Ylal Ylal
In New York City in 1895 Maria Barbella, a young Italian immigrant, cut the throat of the seducer who refused to marry her, Domenico Cataldo. Since she killed him in a public place in front of witnesses, there was no disputing the facts and the judge at her trial all but instructed the jury to find her guilty of first degree murder. Maria became the first woman to be sentenced to death in the new electric chair

.

Across the sea, Cora Slocumb, an American married to an Italian count, became swept up in Maria's plight, convinced the girl was a victim of discrimination. Almost 100 years later Idanna Pucci, Cora's great-grandaughter, was also captivated by the story and her antecedent's crusading role. Pucci's passion and thorough research meld in this colorful, vivid social history.

Leaving her hotel suite (a reproduction of Marie Antoinette's Versaille boudoir) for her first visit to the condemned Maria in the Tombs, Cora finds a bewildered girl with the demeanor of 'a young widow in mourning.' As Maria is shipped off to isolation in Sing Sing, Cora marshalls her considerable social forces for a publicity campaign and hires top notch lawyers to mount an appeal, winning Maria a new trial.

Even before Cora's arrival, media attention from New York's many newspapers was intense, embroiled in the controversy over the electric chair (a barber's invention, first used five years earlier), and the issue of executing a woman.

Pucci reviews the arguments leading to replacement of the gallows with the chair and describes in grisly detail the first electric execution, including dialogue and autopsy report.

She quotes liberally from newspapers concerning Maria's case. Heated exchanges all, these range from treacly to rabid and Pucci does not shrink from reprinting the letters from women calling for the death - preferably by murder - of all faithless seducers.

Maria's case becomes a cause for feminists who rail against all-male justice and condemn the patriarchal values which brand a woman "ruined" and drive her to desperate acts.

Meanwhile Maria's home on Sing Sing's death row is more spacious than any she's ever had. Her friends are gracious women who teach her English, reading and writing. Much of her food comes from the warden's own kitchen. A new trial is a mixed blessing.

Maria's second trial brings in phrenologists, psychologists, witnesses kept out of the first trial, and an exhaustive look at Maria's murky family history. It's chiefly interesting for illustrating the timelessness of lawyers' methods and the inexactitude of truth. For the outcome, there is little doubt.

Pucci's indefatigable search for detail brings the story to life - the record-breaking heat wave in the Italian neighborhood, the ubiquitous wax figures of Maria for sale in curio shops, the Mafia's shadowy precursor known as the Black Hand. She writes with an eye for visuals, filling in the whole picture. Pucci succeeds in turning what is a fairly ordinary crime into a portrait of an era and some of its most passionate controversies - crime and execution, prison conditions, women's rights, immigration, media coverage.

A particularly choice irony - one of Maria's hottest opponents, a newspaper editor, ended his days in prison for the murder of his wife.
Dawncrusher Dawncrusher
The readability of the book is purely thanks to the humanity of the events themselves.
The author seems mostly to be writing a tribute to her great grandmother, who, in the book, nearly single-handedly saves Maria Barbella from death. To be perfectly clear, I have no reason to doubt the facts presented, but they are relatively few. The author dedicates a significant portion of the book to describing her great grandmother's beauty, noble bearing, and many attributes of character, literally to the extent that her account of the events and circumstances of Maria Barbella's case suffers. I tried to see this as resulting from the relevance of her part in the case, but when Susan B. Anthony only gets a paragraph... I'm presumably reading the book because the proposed subject of the book interests me. Not because I want to know what hotel Cora Slocomb stayed at, where her lace or dresses were made, or whether the author feels everyone was made weak-kneed by her tremendous beauty. For the record, look at the picture of her on page 36 (the only actual photograph in the book other than the one of her husband) and note her one eyebrow.
The account also suffers because the author *extensively* tries to narrate actual dialogue between people and sometimes even their thoughts, which is hardly anything but conjecture when you're describing something that happened that long ago, and which there is no record of. Maria has no real voice or presence in the book, much as she was ignored in her own defense process, so I can't help myself - I doubt the author knows whether Maria actually thought "Who is this beautiful lady?" when said author's great grandmother appeared. But that little bit of info is fairly typical of the content of the book.
So, from one ordinary reader to another, here's my advice:
1. Buy this book if you want. You'll get a rough idea of the story, and you'll get a chuckle from the soft-focus lense treatment I described above. You might even be tempted to find out more about the trial elsewhere.
2. Check out a much more interesting and well-written true story of love gone wrong, called Love on Trial: An American Scandal in Black and White by Earl Lewis and Heidi Ardizzone.
(...)It appears that there is, in fact, a third photograph in the book, aside from that of Cora and that of her husband. You guessed it, a photograph of their house. Rather tenuously related to the stated topic of the book, don't you think?
Dark_Sun Dark_Sun
If you want to look at dry, impersonal statistics, Maria Barbella was the first woman to be sentenced to death in New York after the electric chair replaced hanging as the state's execution method of choice. If you want the bigger story behind her crime, trial, sentence, and rescue, Idanna Pucci's book provides it, courtesy of records left behind by the author's great-grandmother, who was instrumental in Maria's retrial and acquittal.

In April 1895 Italian immigrant Maria Barbella killed Domenico Cataldo for making her his mistress and then refusing to restore her honor by marrying her. An act of vengeance that would have been condoned or even encouraged in Italy saw Maria tried in New York before a hostile judge and all-male jury. Her subsequent death sentence aroused the wrath of feminists everywhere, namely American-born Italian countess Cora Slocombe, who exerted her power and influence to obtain for Maria a retrial and freedom.

Previous reviewers have criticized Pucci's poetic, imaginative writing style, but she packs the entire manuscript with enough verifiable facts to excuse any sporadically injected whimsy. "The Trials of Maria Barbella" is a fascinating examination of an event that brought the feminist, immigrant, and death penalty controversies to the fore.
Thetalen Thetalen
An impressive mixture of immigrant culture, Italian society, women's roles and the US legal system in the late 1800s. Well researched and intelligently presented.