ANCONA, ALESSANDRO (1835- ), Italian critic and man of letters, was born at Pisa on the 20th of February 1835, of a wealthy Jewish family, and educated in Florence; at the age of eighteen he published his essay on the life and work of the philosopher Tommaso Campanella. In 1855 Ancona went to Turin, nominally to study law, but in reality to act as intermediary between the Tuscan Liberals and Cavour; he was an intimate friend of Luigi Carlo Farini (q.v.) and represented Tuscany in the Societa Nazionale. On the fall of the Austrian dynasty in Tuscany (April 27, 1859) he returned to Florence, where he edited the newly founded newspaper La Nazionie. In 1861 he was appointed professor of Italian literature at the university of Pisa. Among his works the following may be mentioned: Operadi Tommaso Campanella, 2 vols. (Turin, 1854); Sacre Rappresentazioni dei secoli XIV., XV., e XVI. (3 vols., Florence, 1872); Origini del Teatro in Italia (2 vols., Florence, 1877); La Poesia popolare italiana (Livorno, 1878), besides several volumes of literary essays, editions of the works of Dante and other early Italian writers, etc.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)