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In the Net of the Visconti

by Upton Sinclair


new material in this edition copyright © 2019




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Because of copyright restrictions,
this book is sold only in the United States .



Upton Sinclair’s First Novel

It is very rare that a novel by a major American author is not published as a book for over a century after it was written, so we are proud to be the first to publish Upton Sinclair’s earliest full-length novel in book form.

Upton Sinclair became famous as one of the “muckrakers,” writers who exposed the seamy side of the American economy. He is best known for his novel The Jungle (1906), an exposé of the meatpacking industry that was so effective that the Pure Food and Drug Act and Meat Inspection Act were passed a few months after it was published.

But he began by writing very different sorts of works. He supported himself in college by writing boys’ adventure stories and “dime novels,” which were actually forty-eight-page adventure stories for boys rather than full-length novels.

After graduating in 1897, he began writing novels that were serialized in pulp magazines. The first, In the Net of the Visconti, appeared in The Argosy magazine from July 1899 through November 1899.

His subsequent novels, beginning with King Midas (1901), were published as books, were critically well-received, and are still available. But In the Net of the Visconti did not appear as a book, has not been available until now, and is not even mentioned in some biographies of Sinclair.

It is not only a well-plotted novel but is also a page-turner. As The Argosy summarized it, it is:

A tale of the time of the Italian Renaissance. The thrilling experiences of Tito Bentivogli, son to the Duke of Bologna, who is captured while on a hunting trip by Galeazzo, the hereditary enemy of his house. Plot, Counterplot, and a matching of cunning against cunning in a game of which one player’s life is the stake.