Mario Praz was an Italian-born critic of art and literature, and a scholar of English literature. His best-known book, "La carne, la morte e il diavolo nella letteratura romantica" ("The Romantic Agony" 1933) - written in 1930 - was a comprehensive survey of the erotic and morbid themes that characterized European authors of the late 18th and 19th centuries. He was Professor of Italian Studies at the Victoria University of Manchester, 1932-1934. He taught English literature at the University of Rome from 1934 to his retirement in 1966. In 1962, Queen Elizabeth II made him a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE).
His works of art criticism include an Illustrated History of Interior Decoration, a study on Italian sculptor Antonio Canova, and numerous essays. His last residence, an apartment in Palazzo Primoli, has become a museum, and is open for visits in Rome.