Cover image for Gabriele D'Annunzio : defiant archangel
Gabriele D'Annunzio : defiant archangel
Woodhouse, John Robert.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Clarendon Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xi, 406 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ4804 .W66 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Gabriele D'Annunzio, `Gabriel of the Annunciation', shocked and dazzled early twentieth-century Europe with his sexual exploits, military feats, and political escapades. In a blaze of self-publicity, these activities provided material for his fiery journalism and stunning literary creations.French translations of his scandalous novels first exposed Europe to his genius, but his roots lay deep in his native soil. A pivotal presence in the evolution of Italian politics, literature, society, and taste, he rarely allowed his name to fall from the public gaze during forty critical years,and more than any other Italian since the unification of his country, he casts a shadow forwards to the present day. His literary achievements have influenced generations of Italian writers. This biography is the first fully-documented appraisal of this extraordinary man's career, making use ofpreviously unpublished manuscripts and new source material, and maintaining a degree of objectivity never previously seen in Dannunzian scholarship.

Author Notes

John Woodhouse is Fiat-Serena Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Though Gabriele D'Annunzio's celebrity remains undimmed 60 years after his death, the profound importance of his extraordinary literary output for the development of 20th-century Italian culture still goes underappreciated, even in Italy. This lucid, thoughtful, comprehensive, and scrupulously documented biography--the first in English to merit any of those epithets--should go far toward increasing English-speaking readers' awareness of his literary and historical stature. Woodhouse (Oxford Univ.) offers a thorough and consistently readable chronological treatment of D'Annunzio's long and colorful life, based on extensive archival research and prolonged immersion in critical--and political--debates surrounding this often-notorious figure. Brief discussions of all the major works and interesting comments on the reception of D'Annunzio's writing in Britain are also included (though North American readers may regret that Woodhouse barely touches on the equally fascinating story of D'Annunzio's critical fortunes on their side of the Atlantic). This is a definitive study of a cultural icon who also happened to be a major writer of astonishing talent--even if, as Woodhouse's painstaking analysis reveals, that talent was all too often sadly squandered. Highly recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty and for informed general readers. S. Botterill; University of California, Berkeley

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 Early Life and Experience
2 The Conquest of Rome
3 Life into Art
4 Naples and Beyond
5 The Poet as Playwright: On Stage with Eleonora Duse
6 The Poet as Politician
7 The Tuscan Idyll
8 From Dalliance to Exile
9 D'Annunzio in France
10 Return from Exile: Intervention and War
11 The Invasion of Fiume
12 The Vittoriale: Theatre of Memory