Bringing History to Life

by Rachel Baker on December 22, 2007

In Amalia’s Tale (Reviews, Oct. 29), David Kertzer tells how in 1890 an illiterate Italian peasant woman—who contracted syphilis from wet-nursing a foundling—took on Bologna’s social and medical elite. Both with Amalia’s Tale and your earlier The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, you show a knack for finding stories that were sensational in their time but then forgotten.

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