elegance of history blog: History geek, avid reader and art lover. Here you will find random bits of history, book reviews and musings on art, literature, manners, life, music and anything else that interests me.
“We are a people of heroes”, said an once popular fascist song. The most prominent members of the fascist regime certainly liked to think of themselves as heroes, and they had the medals to prove it. Or not? Well, they definitely had the medals, but they usually weren’t honestly earned. Still, for some people, appearances
In 1907 Benito Mussolini took an exam that would, if he passed, qualify him to teach French and German. The first part of the exam required the candidates to write an essay in Italian. The topic was: “‘For to lose time irks him most who most knows’ – Dante said. – With what reason did
“I want to know how many they are and how much money they siphoned out of me!,” said Mussolini to De Cesare, his secretary. He was talking about his relatives. Tired of their continuous requests for money, offices, and privileges, Mussolini ordered, towards the end of 1942, an inquest on all those relatives who had
Mussolini started corresponding (and nothing else!) with his lover Claretta Petacci when she was only 14 years old. The young Clara had sent the Dux a letter to let him know how happy she was that he had survived an attempt on his life and how outrageous she considered the incident. Mussolini was impressed by