On Wednesday we read about charismatic self-publicist Gabriele D’Annunzio, who did his best to stir things up in post-war Italy. To his own advantage, of course!
The years immediately after WWI were a difficult time. The economy was in tatters, and the result was a wave of strikes and protests. Think a sort of ‘Farmers’ and workers’ Lives Matter’ movement, but a hundred years ago. The poor were hungry, so their protests were understandable. But scary. Change always is.
Just a few years previously there’d been a revolution in Russia, so few on either ‘side’ could ignore the potential for things to get out of hand. The oppressed saw the chance to improve their lot, but landowners, industrialists – basically anyone with something to lose – were worried!
The Italian state was ineffective against economic and social disorder, which left a space for idealists who were willing to take direct action, and anyone up for a bit of a rumble who wanted to join in. Fascist squads were formed, to put the lefties and reformers in their place, with beatings if necessary!
It wasn’t long before the authorities saw the possibilities of using the gangs of smartly-dressed street-thugs (this is Italy, remember) to restore order, and so ensure that the rich and powerful remained rich and powerful.
No worries, though. Clearly, the clever professional politicians would be able to manipulate the fascist gangs for their own purposes.
Find out the origins of the term ‘fascist’ and understand the movement’s symbology in today’s FREE article from our thirty-part Summer Series:
The previous fourteen episodes in this series can be found on our History page. Scroll right down to the end to find them.
P.S. Half-price ‘eBook of the Week’ offer ends Sunday!
A final reminder about this week’s ‘Half-price eBook of the Week’ offer, Tosca, which ends on Sunday night. From Monday the price will be back up to £9.99. Until then, just £4.99!
Our ebook version of Tosca simplifies the story of Puccini’s famous opera, the idea being to provide learners of Italian with ‘graded’ Italian reading/listening practice, while also encouraging people to give the opera a try.
The ebook is a .pdf file (the default download), with .epub & .mobi files available on request at no extra charge.
Giacomo Puccini’s famous opera, first performed in Rome in 1900, is here simplifed for learners of Italian (with quotes from the actual libretto!)
It’s 1800. The Austrians and the French have been fighting over the Italian peninsula for most of the previous century but the French have lost a vital battle and their supporters are imprisoned or killed. One of them, Cesare, escapes and flees to a church where his aristocratic sister is influential. She’ll hide him and help him to safety. Concealing himself in a chapel, he encounters artist Mario, an old friend hired to paint the Virgin Mary. But wait, someone is coming! Cesare hides and in comes famous singer Tosca, Mario’s beautiful but jealous lover…
Begin with this ‘easy reader’ ebook before watching the actual opera, or simply use this original Italian reading/listening practice material to add a little variety to your study program.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters (based on Puccini’s Act/Scene structure) to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at pre-intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
This week Tosca is 50% discounted, so just £4.99 rather than the usual ‘easy reader’ ebook price of £9.99! The offer ends on Sunday 13th August 2023.
How do I access my ebook?
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
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