Love, Honour and Jealousy: An Intimate History of the Italian Economic Miracle

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book investigates the impact of the Italian economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s on intimate life. Just as Italy was rapidly forged into an urban, industrial nation in these years, the ways in which Italians thought about family, love and marriage were transformed by migration and modern consumer culture. At the core of this book lies the investigation of almost one hundred and fifty unpublished diaries and memoirs written by ordinary men and women who were coming of age during these years. These personal testimonies reveal unique insights into the experiences, thoughts and feelings of those who came of age against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Italy. The personal stories are explored alongside the films, magazines and music of the time, which were saturated with both new and old ideas of romance. Films and magazines encouraged young Italians to put romantic love and individual desire over family, contributing to changing expectations about marriage, and often resulting in family tensions. At the same time popular love stories were frequently laced with jealousy, hinting at the darker emotions that were linked in many minds, to love. This darker side was as much a part of the story of changing ideas about intimacy in post-war Italy as was the growing desire to marry for love. Control and violence against women was closely linked to southern ideas about family honour but also to anxieties about Italy’s changing society, which manifested itself in romantic jealousy. Through its exploration of courtship, marriage, honour crime, forced marriage, jealousy and marriage breakdown, this book traces the ways in which the lives both of individuals and of the nation itself, were shaped by changing understandings of romantic love and its darker companions, honour and jealousy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages211
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-884037-4
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Publication series

NameEmotions in History
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Italian economic miracle, love, honour, jealousy, history of the emotions, first person writing, memoirs, marriage, Italian family, modern Italy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Love, Honour and Jealousy: An Intimate History of the Italian Economic Miracle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this