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Amedeo: The True Story of an Italian's War in Abyssinia Paperback – 4 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (4 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006552471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006552475
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Sebastian O'Kelly has found a story so extraordinary and moving that it seems inevitable it will end up as a film. Think The English Patient crossed with Captain Corelli's Mandolin and you will get some idea of the epic sweep, rich detail and sheer romance of Amedeo.' Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

'Amedeo Guillet was a young aristocratic cavalry officer who would not give up. In 1941 he led what was to be the last cavalry charge of the war against a battalion of British tanks. When the Italians surrendered, he did not. With a motley band of Eritrean and Arab irregulars, including his gun-slinging Ethiopian paramour, Amedeo fought on… The politics and passions of the time, the pity and pathos of war, the love and the loss all rise from the pages.' Ross Leckie, The Times

From the Back Cover

In December 1941, a wounded and half-starved prisoner festered in the sweltering dungeon of Hodeida, the chief port of neutral Yemen. His fellow inmates viewed him with suspicion. Although hi Arabic was fluent, the accent was not that of a Yemeni. Some said he was a soldier from the war between the Nazarenes; others had heard he was a spy in the pay of the British in Aden; there were those who even believed he was a Christian.

The prisoner was in fact Amedeo Guillet, star of Italy's Olympic riding team and a war hero, who had led against the British the last cavalry charge their army ever faced, when they invaded Italy's African empire at the beginning of the Second World War.

While serving in Abyssinia, he had fallen in love with Khadija a beautiful Eritrean Moslem, who became his constant companion. When in turn the British conquered Italian East Africa, Amadeo and Khadija became guerrillas, derailing British trains, blowing up bridges and looting convoys. They remained together until the fateful day when their pursuers finally closed in.

With all the romance of fiction, this true story, illustrated with a unique collection of photographs, provides a gripping account of an extraordinary man's determination to retrieve some honour after the shame of Mussolini's declaration of war and Italy's subsequent defeats. An intimate of the Italian royal family, and the friend of leading figures such as the Italo Balbo and the Duke of Aosta, Amedeo Guillet also provides fascinating testimony into how Italy was pitched into the ultimate gamble of world war.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gethin Darklord on 26 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jolly amusing read which summarises the bravery and gallantery of the deceased as he led his comrades and native troops in the defense of Italy's civilizing project in Ehiopia. Some interesting bits about his native woman and less about his eventual return to "society" after the war.Would be a useful discussion text for a teacher wanting to discuss colonialism with their class.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By louisescott on 11 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
Fascinating account of an extraordinary man, with romantic interest thrown in for good measure. What happened to Khadija? I think there should be an epilogue. I just discovered that Sebastian O'Kelly now has an Amadeo website, [...], which contains some wonderful photos of this inspiring character.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very skilful , illuminating , and - at times - deeply moving reconstruction of experiences with which a British audience may have little spontaneous sympathy - i.e. an account of an Italian officer's WW2 campaigns against British forces in North Africa, but it repays reading and can be warmly recommended..
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By Claudia Kleinhenz on 2 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked it very much, and so did my husband, who had never heard of Amedeo before and didn't even know so much about the war in Abyssinia. Very well written and very informing. Never tedious, on the contrary, you'll find yourself wondering if he'll eventually make it home safe. Definitely a good read.
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By Dr. N. Yonow on 10 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a difficult read...
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