Sabatini, the English language and the famous novels.

Rafael Sabatini, the Italiant novelist, was born on the 29th of April 1875. Both his parents were opera singers/teachers. He was exposed to a lot of languages from a young age as he lived with his grandfather in UK, later went to schools in Portugal & Switzerland and by the time he was back in the UK, he had mastered 5 languages. Adding English as the 6th thanks to his move, it became his favourite, and so he started writing in this language. He started in 1890s with short stories and then published his first novel in 1902 but his real breakthrough happened in 1921 with his Scaramouche, a historical Romance set during French Revolution. This became an international bestseller. The success continued with his Captain Blood (1922) and so all his previous books were reprinted, The Sea Hawk (1915) being the most popular among them. He went on to produce a book each year and became so famous that several of his books were made into films during the silent era (no-sound films), Scaramouche (1923) The Sea Hawk & Captain Blood (1924)  and later others in the sound era… Sabatini produced 31 novels, 8 short story collections, more separate ones, 6 non-fiction books and a play. He  died in Switzerland on the 13th of February 1950 at age 74. I started collecting his books thanks to my father; he and his brothers had nicknamed their fishing boat ‘Scaramouche’ for the movie.



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