Ferrara, Francesco (1810–1900)
Ferrara was not only an economist but also an influential figure in Italian politics, culture and journalism. He was born in Palermo on 7 December 1810 and died in Venice on 22 January 1900. His long life spanned the political unification of Italy and the country’s first attempts to assert itself as a latecomer to the international scene. As a patriot, he was one of the leaders of the Sicilian revolution against the Bourbons in 1848. Although the failure of this uprising led to the return of the Bourbons and subjected Ferrara to exile in Turin, one of the most significant documents of this period is the Letter from Malta, which constituted a formal indictment of the Bourbon government and is attributed to him. In Turin, Ferrara became a friend of Cavour, and he was appointed Professor of Political Economy at the university there. As soon as Sicily was liberated he returned to Palermo, where he was placed in charge of indirect taxation.