Paperback $18.95

Anchor | May 06, 2014 | 608 Pages | 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 | ISBN 9780307276551

  • Paperback$18.95

    Anchor | May 06, 2014 | 608 Pages | 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 | ISBN 9780307276551

  • Ebook$14.99

    Anchor | Aug 20, 2013 | 608 Pages | ISBN 9780385349703

Awards

Costa Biography Award WINNER

Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction WINNER

Praise

“A stunning portrait of a . . . decadent poet and proto-Fascist firebrand. . . . Reads like a picaresque novel.” —The New Yorker 
 
“A richly detailed portrait of an eminently civilized sociopath. . . . Appalling but, as Hughes-Hallett presents him, completely enthralling.” —Booklist   

“Compulsively readable. . . . D’Annunzio was arguably the finest Italian writer of his time, an aesthete who made Oscar Wilde look like a bourgeois, a sexual charmer of Casanovan suavity and appetite . . . a political zealot and spellbinding orator.” –The Washington Post (Best Books of 2013)

“A wonderful biography. . . . Although himself the least empathetic of men, [d’Annunzio] has attracted a biographer of rare sensibility who has set out not to condemn but to understand. The result is a magnificent and beautifully written book that makes readers feel they have really come to know d’Annunzio, his many faults, his fewer virtues, and his enormous talent for life.” —New York Review of Books
 
“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. . . . Hughes-Hallett is a strong match for her subject. . . . Her style is rich, ironic and pugnacious; she jousts willingly with him and the reader becomes a spectator of this subtle and fascinating contest.” —The Economist

“Dazzling. . . . A shrewd, challenging analysis that links his sadomasochistic psyche to his pitiless ideology. The result is a resonant study of the themes of power, masculinity, violence, and desire that made D’Annunzio such a striking emblem of his age.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Hughes-Hallett crafts an appealing combination of genres, blending elements of biography, fiction, and cultural, social, and military history to create about as complete an image as possible of this most protean personality. . . . Readers will delight in touring the deep, tangled wood of a most astonishing life with a most engaging and learned guide.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 “A splendid subject for a biography . . . Hughes-Hallett dances her way through this extraordinary life in a style that is playful, punchy and generally pleasing. . . . In death, as in life, the amazing story of D’Annunzio is painted in primary colours, but with the darkest shadows.” —The Observer (London)

“As gripping a page-turner as the most sensationalist novel—and infinitely more rewarding. . . . It is an amazing story [told] with the vivid narrative thrust of a novel. . . . The book is a revelation, an insight into a murky but significant segment of history.” —The Telegraph (UK)

“Hugely enjoyable. . . .  Hughes-Hallett has a great talent for encapsulating an era or an attitude . . . Pleasurable and readable.” —Sunday Times (London)

“A magnificent portrait of a preposterous character. . . . D’Annunzio was deplorable, brilliant, ludicrous, tragic, but above all irresistible. . . . His biographer has done him full justice.” —The Mail on Sunday (London)

“Beautiful, strange, and original. . . . An extraordinarily intimate portrait. . . . If you want to understand fascism, you must start with d’Annunzio; and if you wish to understand him, then here is your book.” —New Statesman (UK)

“How a rather diminutive poet, novelist and dramatist, with a compulsive urge to transgress, priapic sexual instincts, and a fascination with cruelty, blood and death came to be Italy’s most celebrated man of action and a precursor of Fascism is the subject of Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s engrossing and superbly written biography.” —Times Literary Supplement (London)

“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.” —The Daily Mail (UK)

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