The Gadfly

Ethel Lilian Voynich

The Gadfly is a novel by Irish writer Ethel Voynich, published in 1897 (United States, June; Great Britain, September of the same year), set in 1840s Italy under the dominance of Austria, a time of tumultuous revolt and uprisings. The story centres on the life of the protagonist, Arthur Burton, as a member of the Youth movement, and his antagonist, Padre Montanelli. A thread of a tragic relationship between Arthur and his love, Gemma, simultaneously runs through the story. It is a story of faith, disillusionment, revolution, romance, and heroism.