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Tobacco is the background of several novels: enough to think of the Italian “The girls of San Frediano” by Vasco Pratolini, or at international level of “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe, of Lord Byron’s poems with lyrics to tobacco, of “Carmen” by Prosper Mérimée which then became the subject of the omonimous opera by Bizet, of “The tobacco road” by Erskine Caldwell, of “The tree of liberty” by Elizabeth Page. The use of tobacco is one of the salient points of famous literary characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Inspector Maigret, various characters in the novels by Hemingway, Dostoevskij, Naguib Mahfouz, Ian Fleming, without forgetting the communist mayor Peppone, Don Camillo’s friendly enemy, and the hookah-smoking Caterpillar in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” who enjoys its water-pipe sitting on a mushroom.


  • Defoe DanielRobinson Crusoe, 1719
    Robinson Crusoe defied his father’s recommendation to seek a “middle way” of life, and run off to find his fortune at sea. After a series of misadventures including storms at sea and capture by pirates, he succeeds in becoming a tobacco plantation owner in “the Brasils.” When he set out to add slave trading to his income, a storm shipwrecked him on a desert island, where he realized he was all alone with no supplies, only a knife, a tobacco-pipe, and a little tobacco in a box. Here he had to learn to support himself through farming, hunting, and simple carpentry, making whatever he could not salvage from the ship.
  • Caldwell ErskineTobacco Road, 1932
    Set during the Depression in the depleted farmlands of Georgia, it is the story of the Lesters, a family of white sharecroppers becoming totally destitute through the obstinacy of the head of the family, Jeeter, to continue to grow cotton on his piece of land rather than going to work in a factory to earn enough to support the rest of the family. The brilliantly portrayed wife Ada, always desperate for new clothes and hats, and the old grandmother, always looking for food and tobacco, add character to the story.
  • Mérimée Prospère, Carmen, 1845, later transformed by Georges Bizet in the world-famous opera
    In Spain a traveler is enchanted by a beautiful Romani woman who works in a cigar manufacture and who attracts the love of many men, who are ready to kill each other for her love and in the end she meets her fate by the hand of one of them.
  • Page ElizabethThe tree of liberty,1939
    The story tells the adventures of three generations of tow families from 1754 to 1806, as they move from the Eastern seaboard to the Western frontier and take part in great national events. The story weaves itself around Thomas Jefferson who in addition to being a great revolutionary and politician, was also a large tobacco planter.

Antique books

XVII Century

XVIII Century

XIX Century

XX Century


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