Did Malatesta have children?

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sherbu-kteer
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Joined: 19-08-17
Oct 27 2019 11:31
Did Malatesta have children?

Bit of a marginal question but I was reading Pietro Di Paola's Knights Errant of Anarchy: London and the Italian Anarchist Diaspora (very good book btw) and came across this, in the context of a criminal libel charge taken out against Malatesta:

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The jury found Malatesta’s allegation against Bellelli to be unsubstantiated and found Malatesta guilty of criminal libel. At that point, in a contentious decision, the Common Serjeant allowed Inspector Powell of Special Branch to give evidence following delivery of the verdict.

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Prisoner has been known to the police as an Anarchist of a very dangerous type for a great number of years. He has been imprisoned in his own country and has been expelled from France. He has visited Egypt, Spain, France, Portugal, and, I believe, America, in the interests of Anarchy, and wherever he went there was a great deal of trouble. He is known as the leader of militant Anarchists in this country – in fact, in the world. Many of his former colleagues have passed through this court and had penal servitude for coining. Gardstein, one of the Houndsditch… had been using prisoner’s workshop, or working with him, for 12 months. A tube of oxygen that was used on that occasion was traced to prisoner, who stated that he had sold it to Gardstein. That is all that was known. He has never been in the hands of the police in this country, but on one occasion was fined for assaulting a school teacher who chastised his son at school … I do not know much in his favour. [121]

The footnote 121 says this:

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Malatesta was fined 40 shillings for unjustifiable conduct: ‘A boy of the Defendant’s was playing in class and laughing loudly. He was called out to receive two strokes on the hand with a cane, but he put his hand in his pocket and refused to hold it out. Complainant tried to flick the boy’s hand, and in doing so the cane grazed his cheek. Later in the day the Defendant came, and forcing his way into the school-room struck the Complainant in the face and hit him about the body before all the boys’. ‘Police Intelligence’, The Standard, 10 October 1896.

This is probably the first thing I've ever seen that mentions Malatesta having children. Did the cops just get their information wrong? Carl Levy has a biography of Malatesta in the works that might address this, it's not out yet but it's cited in the book so maybe some of the info is known in academic circles already.

syndicalist
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Joined: 15-04-06
Oct 27 2019 16:56

Interesting historical tid bit. Never thought about this. Or seen mention in my limited Malatesta reads. Be curious to learn more

Battlescarred
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Joined: 27-02-06
Oct 27 2019 19:02

Yes, Errico had a relationship with Emilia Tronzio Zanardelli and probably he had several children with her. He lived with her and her partner Giovanni Defendi in London and when she became ill in summer 1914 with the Spanish influenza he stayed by her bedside and nursed her for several months which explains a hiatus in his political activity in this period. Enrico Defendi, who may well have been Errico's son ( and is probably the boy referred to in the caning incident) died of TB in 1916 and Emilia herself died in 1919. A poignant episode in Errico's life and one that perhaps deserves more attention
see here:
https://crimethinc.com/2019/02/14/love-anarchy-and-drama-the-classical-a...

sherbu-kteer
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Joined: 19-08-17
Oct 28 2019 00:06

Very interesting, thank you battlescarred!