David Pryce-Jones

Off-Target

The Woman Who Shot Mussolini

By

Faber & Faber 384pp £20 order from our bookshop

Numerous individuals in modern times have tried to assassinate a head of state, and almost all of them were revolutionaries or outsiders. The Honourable Violet Gibson was different: a lady with a courtesy title. Born in 1876, she was one of the eight children of Lord Ashbourne, a pillar of Anglo-Irish society and a Lord Chancellor of Ireland who was rich and took his responsibilities seriously. Not tall but apparently beautiful in a pre-Raphaelite way, Violet was made financially independent by her father. How things went wrong for her is a sad story, out of which Frances Stonor Saunders tries to construct something like a parable for today.

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

    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,