Winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction
Winner of the Costa Biography Award
**Washington Post Best Books of 2013**
**Economist Best Books of 2013**
This fascinating life of Gabriele d’Annunzio—the charismatic poet, bon vivant, and virulent nationalist who prefigured Mussolini—traces the early twentieth century’s trajectory from Romantic idealism to Fascist thuggery.
D’Annunzio was Italy’s premier poet at a time when poetry could trigger riots. A brilliant self-publicist, he used his fame to sell his work, seduce women, and promote his extreme nationalism. At once an aesthete and a militarist, he enjoyed risking death no less than making love, and he wrote with equal enthusiasm about Fortuny gowns and torpedoes. In 1915 his incendiary oratory helped drive Italy into the First World War, and in 1919 he led a troop of mutineers into the Croatian port of Fiume, where he established a delinquent utopia. Futurists, anarchists, communists and proto-fascists descended on the place, along with literati and thrill-seekers, drug dealers and prostitutes. Three years later, when the fascists marched on Rome, they belted out anthems they’d learned in Fiume, while Mussolini consciously modeled himself on the great poet. Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s compelling biography is a revelation both of d’Annunzio’s flamboyant life and of the dramatic times he helped to shape.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Lucy Hughes-Hallett is an award-winning cultural historian and critic. She is the author of Heroes: A History of Hero Worship and Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams, and Distortions. She has written on books, theater, and television for most of the leading British newspapers. For five years she was the television critic for the Evening Standard and has long been a regular contributor to The Sunday Times (London) Books Section. She has judged a number of literary prizes, and she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives in London.
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Excerpted from "Gabriele D'Annunzio"
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Table of Contents
I Ecce Homo
The Pike 3
Six Months 39
Nobility in Beauty 122
The Sea 144
Scenes from a Life 211
The Dogs of War 299
III War and Peace
The City of the Holocaust 409
The Fifth Season 442
Select Bibliography 555
Illustration Credits 561
What People are Saying About This
“Remarkable . . . a terrific piece of work—as audacious as it is gripping, as thorough as it is insightful and as stirring as it is shocking.”
—John Preston, The Daily Mail
“Deeply evocative . . . It is not easy to make sense of the life of a man who was a silk-swathed aesthete, prophetic versifier, manic aviator and martial demagogue all in one. But in telling the story of his life, Ms Hughes-Hallett deftly unpicks the strands that compose and ultimately resolve these incongruities. She is a strong match for her subject, something that so many of the women in d’Annunzio’s life were lamentably not. Her style is rich, ironic and pugnacious; she jousts willingly with him and the reader becomes a spectator of this subtle and fascinating contest.”
—Stuart Kelly, scotsman.com