THE MEANING OF THE BOOK
In the historical setting of the sixteenth century in Europe, bloodied by religious wars and by the clash between Christianity and Islam on the Mediterranean Sea, with its epicenter in the naval battle of Lepanto (1571), develops a human, extraordinary and tormented story of the protagonist, Marino Correale: from his birth in a patrician family of Sorrento, until his death in the Sorrentine Benedictine convent of St. Agrippinus. Searching relentlessly for the Truth and for God, Marino goes through inspiring and painful events: tragic Turkish assault of Massa Lubrense and Sorrento (13 June 1558); conversion to Islam; success in Istanbul at the court of Suleiman the Magnificent; deep love affair and marriage with Sultan’s niece, Princess Yasmin; death of his wife and son during childbirth; his capture at Lepanto by the Spaniards; life sentence by the Spanish Holy Inquisition in Madrid; long and painful reconciliation with Christianity; atonement of sins in the Benedictine monastery of San Juan de la Peña, until his return to Sorrento, in sickness and anonymity, in the guise of brother Antoninus. Marino’s life becomes, therefore, a prophetic metaphor illustrating the overcoming of the conflict between the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam through dialogue, provided they are not exploited by political power. A prophecy of universal value that can illuminate the present and future of the humanity after the tragedies of the past.
THE BOOK'S COVER
The book’s cover designed by Teresa Biagioli tells, through its various components, the visual story of Sorrento’s immense tragedy during the Turkish assault of 13 June 1558. It’s the dawn of a bright day in the second half of the sixteenth century. Sorrento, seen from above, is helpless, defenceless and ready to be snatched lying like a prey between marina di Capo Cervo owned by the Correales (Marina Piccola), and marina of Porto destined as a shelter for fishermen’s boats (Marina Grande), and along the valley behind intended for trade by sea (Valley of the Mills). The looming threat is represented by the Ottoman scimitar and the flag of the Sultan of Istanbul, Suleiman the Magnificent. The projection of the shadows of both scimitar and flag in the heart of the city increases the pathos and the sense of imminent danger. The coat of arms at the bottom of the page, the background of which turns blood red, composing the fatal date, symbolizes the bloody conclusion of the day, with thousands of victims massacred or taken hostage and then dragged in chains to the Turkish galleys.
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