In discussing the attitudes of various famous men towards women, the narrator in A Room of One's Own has tended to draw heavily on the opinions of historical literary and political figures. However, in the case of Mussolini she is referring to an important contemporary figure.
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) was an Italian politician who played a key role in the rise of fascism in Europe. In 1922 he became Prime Minister of Italy where he operated a fascist dictatorship. He began using the title Il Duce (It. The Leader) in 1925.