SIGNED, 1903, Pier Desiderio Pasolini, Gli Anni Secolari, First Edition, Sir Edward Fitzgerald Law


Pier Desiderio Pasolini (1844  – 1920) was an Italian politician, historian and writer. Son of Giuseppe Pasolini and father of Guido Pasolini dall’Onda, he was senator of the Kingdom of Italy in the XVI legislature. He was a member of the Pasolini dall’Onda family, of ancient noble lineage from Ravenna.

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Pier Desiderio Pasolini,

Gli Anni Secolari – The secular Years

Visione Storica e le sue grandi memorie


Published by Ermanno Loescher & Co, Roma in 1903

First Edition

Signed and Dedicated by the author to Lady Fitzgerald Law

Cover Pages well preserved

In a fine half leather binding

8 + 532 +2 Pages

23cm x15,5cm (approx. 9 inch. x 6 inch.)


Sir Edward Fitzgerald Law (2 November 1846 – 2 November 1908) was a British diplomat and expert in state finance.

Law first went to Greece in 1892, and presided over the finances of Greece, restructuring the Greek debt and the nation’s economy, to the lasting advantage of Greece.

The Greek treasury had been depleted by over-spending and systemic corruption often caused by political campaigns in which parties promised massive spending programmes. The reformist Prime Minister, Charilaos Trikoupis (Χαρίλαος Τρικούπης, 1832-1896), stood before parliament and made the most famous statement of his career: ‘Regretfully, we are bankrupt’ («Δυστυχώς επτωχεύσαμεν»).

In 1893, Greek taxation was moderate in comparison to many other European countries. Law suggested increasing it, along with introducing reforms in the imposition and collection of new taxes. He regarded a new loan for Greece as a necessity, but the operation was to comprise funding the floating debt, and reducing the circulation of Greek banknotes during the three following years.

Law’s own views were summarised in his covering letter with his report:

If it be held that the difficulty is solely due to unsuccessful financial administration, a further question arises are the resources of the country sufficient, with reasonable care, to meet existing difficulties, or is the financial position so compromised as to be beyond remedy without prejudice to the honour of the Greek nation and the legitimate rights of its creditors?

Law’s report was leaked in the City in London before it was published, causing considerable speculation in Greek stocks. This ‘regrettable incident’ was attacked in the London daily newspapers, and Law was subjected to some unmerited censure.

However, his report helped restore public confidence in Greece, the servicing of foreign loans was suspended, and all non-essential spending was cut. Some of the results Law might have been expected were frustrated by the untimely fall of Trikoupis and his reformist government.

At a party at the German Embassy there he met Catherine (Kaity), only daughter of Nicholas Hatsopoulos. She was the descendant of an old Byzantine family that was long-settled in Athens. Edward and Kaity were married on 18 October 1893.

In 1894, Kaity was the model for an image of Athens on a medallion struck for Queen Victoria’s daughter, the Empress Frederika (1840-1901), wife of Kaiser Frederick III.

Law stayed on in Greece, and in 1897 he was appointed the British member or commissioner on the International Financial Committee at Athens. He remained the British Minister Resident in Athens from 1898 to 1900.


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