Gabriele D'Annunzio

   Gabriele D'Annunzio was an Italian novelist, poet, and dramatist. Born Pescara, Italy, Mar. 12, 1863. Died Gardone, Italy, Mar. 1, 1938.
   Although the works of D'Annunzio are not profound in thought or feeling, they are outstanding for their verbal brilliance, ornate style, and frank sensuality. His notable works include the collection of short stories San Pantaleone (1886) and such novels as The Child of Pleasure (Il piacere, 1889) and The Triumph of Death (Il trionfo della morte, 1892). His novel The Flame of Life (Il fuoco, 1900) is the story of D'Annunzio's love affair with the great actress Eleonora Duse. He also wrote poetry and verse plays. His best-known plays include Francesca da Rimini (1902) and The Daughter of Jorio (La figlia di Iorio, 1904), often considered his masterpiece.
Much of D'Annunzio's fame was due to his youthful career as duelist, dandy, and dilettante. Later, during World War I, his feats in the Italian army, navy, and especially the air force became legendary. After the war he defied the League of Nations by leading troops into Fiume and ruling the city for almost two years. In his final years, D'Annunzio lived as an eccentric recluse in his splendid villa on Lake Garda, glorified and carefully watched by the Fascists who had made him Prince of Montenevoso in 1924.