Carlo Collodi (1826-1890) was the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini. He was born in Florence, where his father served as the cook for a rich aristocratic family; his mother, though qualified as a schoolteacher, worked as a chambermaid for the same family. Lorenzini took the name Collodi from his mother’s hometown, where he was sent to attend school. A volunteer in the Tuscan army during the 1848 and 1860 Italian wars of independence, Collodi founded a satirical weekly, Il Lampione
—which was suppressed for a time by the Grand Duke of Tuscany—and became known as the author of novels, plays, and political sketches. His translation from the French of Charles Perrault’s fairy tales came out in 1876, and in 1881 his Storia di un burratino
(Story of a Puppet) was published in installments in the Giornale per i bambini
, appearing two years later in book form as The Adventures of Pinocchio
. Collodi, whose writings include several readers for schoolchildren, died in 1890, unaware of the vast international success that his creation Pinocchio would eventually enjoy.