Carlo Collodi is the pen-name of Carlo Lorenzini who lived from 1826 to 1890. Collodi is the name of the little village in Tuscany, Italy, where Carlo's mother was born. The son of a cook and a servant, Carlo was born in Florence, and he spent most of his childhood in the rough and tumble of the streets rather than in the classroom. Twice he was called upon to be a soldier. He began his writing career in newspapers and started his own satirical paper: Il Lampione (The Lantern). By the 1850s he was publishing fiction and non-fiction titles but soon decided to concentrate on writing for children because "adults are too hard to please."
In 1881 Carlo sent an editor friend a short episode in the life of a wooden puppet, asking if he would be interested in publishing this "bit of foolishness" in the children's section of his paper. The editor was interested, and when Pinocchio was introduced to the world, children loved it. The adventures of Pinocchio were serialized in the paper in 1881/82 and then published in 1883 with huge success. In 1892 the first English language version appeared. The 1940 Disney cartoon has ensured that the character of Pinocchio remains well known—but the book is much richer in the details of the adventures of the naughty puppet in search of boyhood.
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