Giovanni Ruffini was born in Genoa in 1807. At first he studied in Taggia, where his mother Eleonora Curlo was born. Then he attended college and university in Genoa, where he got the degree in Low in 1830. His youth was touched by Mazzini’s political opinions and friendship. In 1833 he escaped the police, as he tells in his autobiographical novel “Lorenzo Benoni”. He went to Marseilles with Mazzini and his young brother Agostino, then to Switzerland and England in 1837. In 1842 he moved to France, but after 1848 he came back to Italy. In 1849 Gioberti sent him back to Paris as minister of the Republic of France. After few time he decided that his political life was over and became a writer in English language. In 1855 he published “Lorenzo Benoni” in Edinburgh: it is an autobiographical novel about his youth till 1833. There is also Mazzini among his characters, with the nickname “Fantasio”. Since his first novel was very appreciated by English public, in 1855 he published “Il Dottor Antonio”. After this success he wrote less and less, till he stopped at all.
In 1874 he came back to Taggia, where he lived till he died in 1881.
Giovanni Ruffini, “Il Dottor Antonio”, edited by U. Varnai, Florence 1972