Jonathan Keates

Misfortune Favours the Brave

A Bold and Dangerous Family: The Rossellis and the Fight Against Mussolini


Chatto & Windus 420pp £20 order from our bookshop

‘What a miserable age! Even the crimes aren’t worthy of admiration!’ cried the composer Giuseppe Verdi, contemplating his own era. The trouble with the past is that it continually confronts us with our own inadequacy, giving us the feeling that the gods and giants have long ago departed the earth and all reserves of principle, integrity and courage have run dry, leaving only a stale trickle of self-serving compromise. Similarly, Caroline Moorehead’s latest book, about a family made up of fearless, high-minded individuals prepared to defy dictators and suffer for their convictions, offers the reader a sobering experience.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,
    • Unlike Mary Shelley's monstrous creation, Jeanette Winterson's Frankenstein-inspired novel feels 'barely alive', sa… ,