MUSSOLINI’S ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION
- THE WOMAN WHO SHOT MUSSOLINI: the passport used by Violet Gibson (1876-1956) at the time she attempted to assassinate Mussolini in the Piazza del Campidoglio, Rome, at just before eleven in the morning on 7 April 1926. She was at the time standing less than a foot away from him. Her first shot, fired at point blank range, grazed his nose as he tilted his head back to acknowledge the rapturous crowd, while the second jammed in her pistol. Pardoned by Mussolini whose popularity was much enhanced by the failed attempt she was returned to England a year later, spending the rest of her life at St Andrew’s Asylum in Northampton. Her story has recently been told in Frances Stonor Saunders’s acclaimed study, The Woman who Shot Mussolini (2010). This passport, incidentally, gets her middle name wrong, which should be ‘Albina’ rather than the “Albinia”.