Gabriele D'Annunzio, who lived from 1863-1938, cannot be said to have led a dull life. He was a highly regarded poet, novelist and dramatist, as well as a journalist and a notorious daredevil in his personal life.
He is perhaps remembered most strongly for more negative reasons, however, as he is regarded as having been an inspiration to, and driving force of, the nascent Fascism movement in Italy and formed a rivalry with Benito Mussolini.
When D'Annunzio retreated from politics following a fall from a window, Mussolini was desperate to keep him out and bribed him not to get involved. When asked about this, he is supposed to have commented:
"When you have a rotten tooth you have two possibilities open to you: either you pull the tooth or you fill it with gold. With D'Annunzio I have chosen for the latter treatment."
Next week in Rome, Bloomsbury Auctions are offering a short poem written in the youth of D'Annunzio. His poetry was thought as a showing talent from an early age, though critics were divided on whether he was a breath of fresh air or a danger to public morality.
The poem in question is eight quatrains (32 lines) on a 250 x 105 mm piece of paper, and has never been known to the public. It is on offer with an estimate of €5,000-7,500. Mussolini's autograph - and indeed Winston Churchill's - is also on offer at the sale which takes place on March 23.
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