Dear Mussolini by Neri Pozza
December 16, 2022
To the British Empire, twenty five year old George Glenville, a Cambridge graduate of Medieval literature is a loyal citizen, son of a high society Londoner mother and a Florentine womanizer on the run. Bbut the Kingdom of Italy knows him as Giorgio Del Bello, heir to an empire of coal mines in Wales.
In late May 1940, Winston Churchill, newly appointed to head his majesty’s government, entrusts George/Giorgio to deliver a confidential letter for Mussolini: a secret pact of mutual assistance between proud enemies. In this international spy story, Churchill’s trusted agent for operations in Italy delves into the intrigues of the Savoy and the decline of fascism, underground operations from London to Rome and preparations for the Allied landing in Sicily.With each mission, the bond between Churchill and George grows stronger. Both men curiously united by a shared family experience.
On his forays into Italy, George falls in love with the Countess Paola Torresani, but The armistice and the German presence on the Peninsula force George and Paola into a precipitating situation.
George is summoned by Churchill for a mission that breaks all rules: to meet with Mussolini in secret and demand the return of the compromising letter in exchange for help in a losing war.
In the final months of the conflict George plays a dangerous game on Churchill’s behalf, while Nazi-Fascist fury is unleashed on him.
The extreme pursuit of the precious document leads George to meet Mussolini on April 25th, two days before his death by execution.
But what happened to Churchill’s letter?
William J. Cornwall is a pseudonym for an historian living between Tuscany and Great Britain.