Born into a patriarchal family of the Abruzzo, D'Annunzio was sent to Prato to master Tuscan Italian. At age 16, under the classical influence of Giosue Carducci, he published his first poems, Primo Vere in 1879. His best works of the time include the novel Il fuoco (The Flame of Life) (1900); the poems of his Alcyone (one of the Pleiades), which are his best; the play The Dead City (1898); and his masterpiece The Daughter of Jorio (1904), a drama. Eager to perform on the world's stage in politics and in war as well as art, he became an ardent nationalist, lost an eye in a wartime flying accident, and then personally led an assault on Fiume in 1919, annexing it to Italy and ruling it like a Roman proconsul for 16 months. His support of Mussolini prompted some critics to treat him as a progenitor of fascism.