Cultural historian and critic Lucy Hughes-Hallett tells the story of the turbulent years of the early 20th century through the life of poet, writer, novelist, dramatist, daredevil and precursor to the Fascists Gabriel D’Annunzio. D’Annunzio was an acclaimed poet and writer with a legendary charm. He came to instigate right-wing revolt against democratic authority, notably declaring himself Commandante of Fiume, now in modern day Croatia.
Hughes-Hallett uses D’Annunzio’s life to explore the society and politics of the early 20th century. It is both the story of a flamboyant and charismatic character and of the rise of nationalism and political extremism. Hughes-Hallett is also author of Cleopatra: Queen, Lover, Legend and of Heroes: Saviours, Traitors and Supermen.