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Old Calabria

Norman Douglas



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30 November 2009
Travel & holiday; Classic travel writing
Calabria. A dramatic peninsula of rugged mountains and windswept coastlines facing Sicily - 'the most beautiful kilometre in Italy' - wrote Gabriele d'Annunzio of its coastline. Though steeped in a rich and ancient past, Calabria had been lost from view when Norman Douglas visited in the early 1900s. Long familiar with southern Italy, the region captivated him and the wild and unspoilt landscape inspired him. Tracing a typically adventurous route from the promontory of Gargano in the north - linked in ancient times with Byzantium - to the southern tip of Aspromote, he scaled vast mountain ranges, trekked through dense forest and crossed remote and often dangerous countryside. Within Douglas' vibrant account of his adventures is woven the rich history - from Greek settlers and Roman conquerors to the powerful 'Ndrangheta organized crime family - that has shaped the land, language, culture and people of a place that Douglas grew to adore. Witty, erudite and elegant, Old Calabria is a literary classic, acclaimed as much for its sparkling prose as for its exquisite portrait of Italy's most unpredictable and colorful province.
By:   Norman Douglas
Imprint:   I B TAURIS
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 23mm
Weight:   340g
ISBN:   9781848851139
ISBN 10:   1848851138
Pages:   368
Publication Date:   30 November 2009
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Norman Douglas (1868-1952) was born in Austria and educated in England, Germany and France. Much of his life was spent in exile, in Italy and the south of France. His first work, Siren Land, was published in 1911, followed by Fountains in the Sand (1912) and Old Calabria (1915). Publication of his most famous novel, South Wind, in 1917 established his reputation as one of the foremost writers of his generation. Douglas returned briefly to England in 1942 but spent the last five years of his life on Capri, where he died after a long illness. Though his life was surrounded by controversy, Douglas's prose reflected an elegance and beauty acclaimed by critics. His novels and travel books are now widely regarded as classics.

Reviews for Old Calabria

'One of the most entertaining literary characters of his age, always unexpected. He lived and died an unpenitent nonconformist.' - The Evening Standard; 'Douglas is an excellent writer of works of travel: he has the necessary independence of mind, his loneliness, the face that gives nothing away. Old Calabria is a classic. His eye wanders from the road into the generalities of history and religion...but he never misses the precise contours of the country.' - The New Statesman; 'Almost everything a newcomer can require is here: Douglas turns easily from legend to natural history, natural history to notes on local wine..;' - Graham Greene, on Footnote on Capri, Sunday Times

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