An extremely moving account of the lonely life of the unloved and tragic genius - described as "the greatest modern Italian poet" 'Love me, by God; I need love, love, love, fire, enthusiasm, life. The world does not seem made for me' Giacomo Leopardi, considered the greatest Italian poet since Dante, was one of the most radical thinkers of the nineteenth century. He also regarded himself one of the most miserable and unfortunate people to have lived. Born to strict parents in a provincial town in 1798, he had a lonely childhood, and he spent his time largely in his father's library. He suffered from a debilitating illness, and his short life was full of pain. But this pain and misery gave rise to some of the most intense and brilliant poems ever written in the Italian language. In this poetic biography, Iris Origo, author of the bestselling War in Val d'Orcia traces the short and lonely life of this conflicted poet. Written with generosity and understanding, A Study in Solitude is a sharp, moving portrait of a frail and frustrated genius.