Hamish Hamilton, England, 1972. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. + Minor bumping at spine ends, neat owner name Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good.unclipped. small chips and old tape mark at spine ends. Cover artwork is bright John Lawrence (illustrator).
Shirley Guiton's account of life on the Venetian island of Torcello begins with her purchase of a dilapidated property and vineyard there, and goes on to describe the many difficulties she encountered in the course of renovating her new home and making the overgrown vineyard productive again. But, with her deepening understanding and experience of the island, the book comes to encompass the whole life of the people who live there, and includes a dramatic account of the disastrous Great Flood which occurred in 1966. This by-now familiar form of narrative was scarcely with precedent when first published. As Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson says, 'This was years before 'A Year in Provence" or "Driving Over Lemons" reminded readers that they, too, could forsake the grey skies of northern Europe and find the sun - and a collection of locals who would make excellent copy for the books they might write. A publishing industry would blossom.Shirley was, in a sense, there first.' 'She has even achieved what Mary McCarthy assured all and sundry was impossible - to say something about Venice which previous visitors had not said before.
First Edition. 209 pages, blue binding. Blue end paper maps. Red top edge.
This is, superficially, the story of a house and its gradual formation, but it is far more. It is a book about the threatened future of Venice, about the life of the ordinary peasant farmers and fishermen of the Lagoon, about gondolas, artichokes, and architects - above all about Italians.