Francis Marion Crawford (1854-1909) was an American writer noted for his many novels. He was born at Bagni di Lucca, Italy. In 1879 he went to India, where he studied Sanskrit and edited the Allahabad Indian Herald. Returning to America he continued to study Sanskrit at Harvard University for a year, contributed to various periodicals, and in 1882 produced his first novel, Mr. Isaacs. This book had an immediate success, and its author's promise was confirmed by the publication of Doctor Claudius: A True Story (1883). After a brief residence in New York and Boston, in 1883 he returned to Italy, where he made his permanent home. He also published the historical works, Ave Roma Immortalis (1898), Rulers of the South (1900) renamed Sicily, Calabria and Malta in 1904, and Gleanings from Venetian History (1905). The Saracinesca series is perhaps known to be his best work, with the third in the series, Don Orsino, set against the background of a real estate bubble, told with effective concision. A fourth book in the series, Corleone, was the first major treatment of the Mafia in literature.
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