Claretta: Mussolini’s last lover
Yale University Press, (Footprint) $39.99 hb, 312 pp, 9780300214277
This fascinating volume on the fate of Clara (Claretta) Petacci, mistress to Benito Mussolini, by distinguished historian R.J.B. Bosworth, is a meticulously researched and multi-layered account tracing the fateful relationship between the fascist dictator and his younger paramour. From the genesis of the affair to its well-known aftermath, Bosworth enlivens our understanding of the vicissitudes of the doomed partnership by bringing Claretta’s voice to the fore. Having with great care and thoroughness translated extracts from her personal diary and correspondence, he creates a compelling account of their relationship and its many travails.