The Pike: Gabriele D’Annunzio
Thursday 25 September 2014
Blenheim Palace: The Marlborough RoomVenue
Samuel Johnson Prize-winning cultural historian and critic Lucy Hughes-Hallett tells the story of the turbulent years of the early 20th century through the life of debauched poet, writer, novelist, dramatist, daredevil and precursor to the Fascists Gabriel D’Annunzio in The Pike. Her work about the life of the acclaimed poet and writer with a legendary charm won the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction and the 2013 Costa Book Awards Biography of the Year. The Samuel Johnson judges described it as a book that ‘transcends the conventions of biography’.
D’Annunzio 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 a page-turning story of a flamboyant, charismatic and repellent 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.
Supported by Ian and Carol Sellars.