Florence and Tuscany
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Florence and Tuscany

A Literary Guide for Travellers

Ted Jones

  1. 256 Seiten
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Florence and Tuscany

A Literary Guide for Travellers

Ted Jones

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Über dieses Buch

The magical landscapes and rich culture of Tuscany have fostered the inspiration and settings for literature since the works of the great Florentine poets Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio in the 14th century and has been a magnet for expatriate writers since the arrival in Florence of the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer in 1372. With its historic cities and villages; its verdant countryside and crepuscular coastline; its treasury of art covering five millennia and, above all, its long heritage of authorship, Tuscany one of the most celebrated and well-travelled regions in the world. As the source of the Italian language and birthplace of the Renaissance, Tuscany lies at the historic and cultural heart of Italy, and has remained an irresistible attraction to writers for six centuries. This book is a journey that follows in their footsteps; from John Milton and Thomas Gray to the Brownings, the Shelleys, Charles Dickens, D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, E. M. Forster, Mark Twain, Muriel Spark and many others.Florence and Tuscany: A Literary Guide for Travellers takes the literary-minded traveller (either in person or in an armchair) on a vivid and illuminating journey, retracing the footsteps of writers who have lived and worked in, or been inspired by, the history and landscape of Tuscany from John Milton and Thomas Gray to the Brownings, the Shelleys, Charles Dickens, D.
H. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, E.M. Forster, Mark Twain Muriel Spark and many others. For anyone who has fallen under a Tuscan spell, as so many have before, this book - the first of its kind - will prove enthralling reading.

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Information

Jahr
2012
ISBN
9780857731272
Ted Jones is a writer and journalist who specialises in travel and the arts. He is the author of The French Riviera: A Literary Guide for Travellers (Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2007).
*
‘I’m fascinated to learn that Milton visited Galileo, that Freud could be “bowled over”, and that Emerson described the Duomo as “like an archangel’s tent”. Bravo, Ted Jones, for gathering a trove of writers’ responses to Tuscany and for writing such an engaging context for their travels. Knowing of those who traveled before us deepens our own responses to a place. This book enriches my own journeys in this fabled land.’
Frances Mayes,
author of Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life
Praise for The French Riviera
‘The ultimate travel book for anyone who likes sun and literature. I found it irresistible.’
Peter Mayle
‘There are two views of the French Riviera. One says it is an overdeveloped blot on the landscape; the other that it is the epitome of style. If you veer towards the latter, and enjoy literary history, this book is for you. Drawing on the stories of more than 150 writers, Jones does a great job of buffing up the legend.’
Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times, Books of the Week
‘Thoughtful, entertaining and vivid, Jones’s The French Riviera sweeps us along the coast . . . Cap Ferrat comes to life. Jones’s book is sad only because it reminds us of how much of the Riviera’s tranquil beauty has been sacrificed. The list of literary lovers of the Riviera almost beggars belief. It is delightful to have their eloquent, acerbic, lyrical responses collected here, in a book that deserves to become a favourite with all travellers.’
Miranda Seymour, Sunday Times
‘There is much to relish. The author is assiduous in recording who wrote what where and when, in seeking out memorial plaques and mourning lost landmarks.’
E.S. Turner, Times Literary Supplement
‘A vivid guide to the Cîte d’Azur in the eyes of some of the greatest writers of their time.’
Jane Mays, Daily Mail
‘Certainly among the best of recent books on the area. Jones has done a lot of research and presents his results in a clear and lively style. The book will appeal obviously to those with literary interests but it’s also designed to please those who enjoy Sunday paper-style gossip (broadsheet, of course).’
Patrick Middleton, The Riviera Reporter
‘unsurpassed in literary name-dropping’
David Armstrong, San Francisco Chronicle
Florence and Tuscany
a literary guide for travellers
Ted Jones
Published in 2013 by I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
6 Salem Road, London W2 4BU
175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010
www.ibtauris.com
Distributed in the United States and Canada
Exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan
175 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10010
Copyright © 2013 Ted Jones
The right of Ted Jones to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988.
All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
ISBN: 978 1 84885 836 7
eISBN: 978 0 85773 127 2
A full CIP record for this book is available from the British Library
A full CIP record is available from the Library of Congress
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: available
Typeset by JCS Publishing Services Ltd, www.jcs-publishing.co.uk
Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface
Maps
Tuscany
Central Florence
1. Introduction
2. Florence: The Renaissance City
3. La Spezia: The Gulf of Poets
4. Lucca: The Romantic City
5. Pisa: City of Miracles
6. Livorno: The Gateway City
7. Arezzo: The Roman City
8. San Gimignano: City of Towers
9. Volterra: The Etruscan City
10. Siena: The Medieval City
11. Coast and Country
12. Epilogue
Author Profiles
Chronology
Select Bibliography
Illustrations
1. Tuscan landscape near Siena
2. Central Florence from the Piazza Michelangelo, Florence
3. Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Duomo, Florence
4. The Giotto Tower, the Duomo, Florence
5. The house of Dante, Florence
6. Dante’s Seat, Florence
7. The Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence
8. The River Arno from the Piazza Michelangelo, Florence
9. The Ponte Santa TrinitĂ , Florence
10. The Ponte Vecchio, Florence
11. The drawing-room of the Casa Guidi, home of the Brownings, Florence
12. The Roman Arena, Fiesole
13. The P. B. Shelley memorial, Viareggio
14. The Casa Magni, home of P. B. Shelley, San Terenzo
15. The Church of San Michele, Lucca
16. The Leaning Tower, Pisa
17. The Palazzo Lanfranchi, home of Lord Byron, Pisa
18. The Duomo, Livorno
19. The Piazza Grande, Arezzo
20. Petrarch’s house, Arezzo
21. The towers of San Gimignano
22. Piazza della Cisterna, San Gimignano
23. The Palazzo Pubblico, Siena
24. Marble quarries at Carrara
25. San Gimignano, from Certaldo
Photos 16, 22, 23: David Mundstock; all others: Ted Jones
Preface
On the evening of 15 October 1764, the English historian Edward Gibbon was in Rome, ‘musing amongst the ruins of the Capitol, while the barefoot friars were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter’, and he knew with absolute certainty that he must write The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I had no such inspirational moment: I was aware only that for some years I had wanted to write a book about the writers of Tuscany. The only deterrent was that Decline and Fall took Gibbon 23 years to write. I wasn’t sure if I had that long.
In Florence a year later, in 1765, the Scottish author Tobias George Smollett wrote in his Travels through France and Italy that he did not intend to write about ‘every thing which is commonly visited in this metropolis’. ‘All these objects’, he wrote, ‘have been described by twenty different authors. I shall not trouble you with a repetition of trite observations.’ His words were written more than two centuries ago but they are even more appropriate today, when an internet search of ‘books about Tuscany’ elicits ten thousand responses, and minute historical details are accessible in seconds. Smollett wrote about his Tuscany. I shall write about Tuscany as it was seen by other writers.
These writers’ collective impressions are a total experience of Tuscany: its scenery, its sky and the people under it as much as its history, art and literature. This homogeneity has been expressed by writers in many different ways: Percy Bysshe Shelley, who lived and died there, eulogised its ‘mountains, seas, and vineyards, and the towers of cities they encircle!’
So many writers have been attracted to Tuscany that my problem soon became not which to write about, but which to exclude. Because this edition is in English, I have tended to give preference to Anglo-Saxon authors, and to omit those who, even if famous in their own languages, are less known internationally. Missing also – or almost – are those writers who scurried through Tuscany on their way to somewhere else. Goethe stayed no longer than three hours; J. G. Ballard’s autobiography allotted Tuscany only a paragraph; H. G. Wells’s Tuscan trysts were commemorated in one single place name; and the seriously ill Sir Walter Scott was so anxious to reach his native Scotland before he died that he hurried by, leaving no record of it at all (he made it back home with only two months to spare).
I applied similar criteria to places: thus Prato, a city with a population of nearl...

Inhaltsverzeichnis

  1. Contents
  2. Illustrations
  3. Preface
  4. Maps
  5. 1 Introduction
  6. 2 Florence: The Renaissance City
  7. 3 La Spezia: The Gulf of Poets
  8. 4 Lucca: The Romantic City
  9. 5 Pisa: City of Miracles
  10. 6 Livorno: The Gateway City
  11. 7 Arezzo: The Roman City
  12. 8 San Gimignano: City of Towers
  13. 9 Volterra: The Etruscan City
  14. 10 Siena: The Medieval City
  15. 11 Coast and Country
  16. 12 Epilogue
  17. Author Profiles
  18. Chronology of Events
  19. Select Bibliography