I hope you liked my previous articles with the series “Red Rebels” about Bianca Tosoni-Pittoni, Hugo Eberlein and others. Here is a story of an interesting woman, who was certainly a rebel though not exactly a red rebel, Edda Mussolini, the eldest daughter of the infamous Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. As with the previous heroines, I came across Mollie while writing my book, a biography of Angelica Balabanoff, due to be published by McFarland Publishers in September, The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel. Due to the lack of space I was unable to write about her in my book.
For a long time it was thought that Edda was a daughter of Angelica. Edda was born in 1910. When she was born her parents Rachel and Benito were not married. Her birth certificate stated: Mother unknown. As she was born during the time when Mussolini spent quite a bit of time with Angelica many thought that Edda was Angelica’s daughter and Rachele agreed to take care of her.
Indeed Edda was a rebellious and interesting woman. She was one of the first women in Italy to drive a car and wear pants. She also openly confessed that her favorite writers were Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. She did not get along with her mother Rachele, a traditional Italian woman who stayed at home and did not enjoy being out in public and in her spirit resembled more Angelica. In January 1944 her husband was executed for dissenting from Mussolini’s rule. After the end of WWI, she has strongly denied any involvement in an Italian Fascist part and had an affair with a communist. She died in Rome in 1995.
To know more about Angelica go to the link About Angelica.