A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary 1939–1940 by Iris Origo

A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary 1939–1940

War in Italy in 1939 was by no means necessary, or even beneficial to the country. But in June 1940, Mussolini finally declared war on Britain and France. The awful inevitability with which Italy stumbled its way into a war for which they were ill prepared and largely unenthusiastic is documented here with grace and clarity by one of the twentieth century's great diarists....

Title:A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary 1939–1940
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Edition Language:English

A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary 1939–1940 Reviews

  • Paula Bardell-Hedley
    When a complimentary copy of this book arrived in the mail from Pushkin Press, I immediately noticed that the introduction had been written by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, author of The Pike: Gabriele D'Annunzio, Poet, Seducer and Preacher of War - a brilliant, multi award winning biography of the notorio...
  • Evinrude
    A war diary, as the title say, by an wealthy English woman married to an Italian. It does not say much about her life, or even life at that point it time, but is a sort of chronicle of news (true and false) and rumours about Italy's imminent involvement in the war. Only interesting if you have a spe...
  • Jan Vranken
    Ik kende haar van The Merchant of Prato (ook vertaald in het Nederlands), een fascinerende ‘biografie’ gebaseerd op tienduizenden nagelaten brieven van deze handelaar uit de 14de eeuw. Daarom ingegaan op een lovende bespreking van dit pas onlangs gepubliceerde dagboek. Ik raad het iedereen...
  • Leah
    Too short to be truly great, but excellent nonetheless. Origo was a beautiful observer, and her insight was keen. It was clearly a certain class of women (brought up literary, intelligent, highly educated and with a lot of very useful social connections) who wrote these kind of diaries: her connecti...
  • Adrian
    Origo, an Anglo-American, married an Italian and wrote this diary while Italy and the world were on the precipice of war. It's all political, nothing much of a personal nature at all. But it's a taut and fascinating read. She reads papers, talks to people and above all listens. She is a sharp observ...
  • Sean Carman
    The American biographer Iris Origo was a child of wealth who grew up in the Villa Medici, an Italian renaissance mansion overlooking Florence. After three international debutante balls she married the Italian aristocrat Antonio Origo, and together they purchased and planned to restore a broken-down ...
  • Chris
    Worth reading simply for a sense of Italy on the eve and outbreak of the Second World War. The observations are piercing, though the diary is not personal in detail. There are some beautiful passages, but other entries are brief.NYRB Book Club Selection...
  • Tom Scott
    When she wrote this diary, Origo was a 39 year old privileged British woman married to an Italian aristocrat living on their villa in Tuscany on the eve of WWII. By 1940, the second year of her diary, Italy was at war with Great Britain. But in 1939 this wasn't a forgone conclusion. How did Mussolin...
  • KOMET
    A very compelling and eloquent account by Iris Origo which conveys both the tempo and temper of life that existed in Italy as she went from being a sometimes uneasy German ally and neutral to a full-fledged co-belligerent with Germany after June 10, 1940. The diary begins on March 27, 1939 and ends ...

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