Lucy Riall

in Under the Volcano

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199646494
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744815 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


The Seventh Duke of Bronte sold the estate in 1980. He lives in Geneva and has largely forgotten the conflicts in Sicily that beset his family for so long. But behind his ‘forgetting’ lies another conflict. Fascism profoundly affected the Duchy. After 1935, the rapid deterioration of Anglo-Italian relations produced a new anti-British rhetoric. In 1940, following Mussolini's declaration of war on Britain, the Duchy was confiscated by the regime while, after the war, political activists rediscovered the Duchy's early history, condemned the gift to Nelson in 1799 and began to write about the peasant revolt: indeed, Bronte's modern fame owes much to the struggles of the 1940s and 50s. Bronte today is a place of memory, part of the present-day fight for control of Italy's national past. When the government of Bronte gained control of the Duchy in the 1980s, they renamed the castle of Maniace (the British family residence) the ‘Castello Nelson’.

Keywords: latifondo; Fascism; Second World War; Post-War Italy; agrarian reform; Italian Communist Party; Viscount Bridport; Duchy of Bronte; Floresto Vancini; memory; revisionism

Chapter.  8250 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.