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A Small Place in Italy }

A Small Place in Italy


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product no: 25702
author: Eric Newby
publisher: HarperCollins
isbn:9780007367900
edition: Reprint Edition
edition date: March 2011
pages: 228
size: 128 x 197 x 16 mm
weight: 194 g
format: Paperback
sales rank: 14647

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In 1967, veteran travel writer Eric Newby and his heroic wife Wanda fulfiled their dream of a return to life in the Italian hills where they first met during World War II. But this fulfilment would not come easy. The dream materialised in the form of I Castagni ('The Chestnuts'), a small, decrepit farmhouse with no roof, an abandoned septic tank and its own indigenous wildlife reluctant to give up their home. But in the foothills of the Apuan Alps on the border of Liguria and Northern Tuscany, this ramshackle house would soon become a hub of love, friendship and activity.

Whether recounting dangerous expeditions through Afghanistan or everyday life in a country house, Newby's talent shines through as one of the foremost writers of the comic travel genre. Full of Newby's sharp wit and good humour, A Small Place in Italy returns, twenty years later, to the life of Newby's much-cherished classic, Love and War in the Apennines. It lovingly recounts the quickly disappearing lifestyle of the idiosyncratic locals, and the enduring friendships they forge, whether sharing in growing their first wine harvest as novices or frying poisonous mushrooms for a feast.

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Eric Newby's life of travel began in 1919, on pram-ride adventures with his mother into the dark streets of Barnes and the chaotic jungles of Harrods, and progressed to solo, school-bound adventures around the slums of darkest Hammersmith. His interest piqued, Newby's wanderlust snowballed, and his adventures multiplied, as he navigated the London sewer system, bicycled to Italy and meandered the wilds of New York's Broadway.

Whether travelling abroad as a high-fashion buyer for a British department store or for pure adventure as a travel writer, even when reluctantly participating in a tiger shoot in India, Newby chronicles his adventures with verve, humour and infectious enthusiasm.

After nine years as the travel editor of the Observer, Newby reluctantly gave up the post, eschewing the new form of human-as-freight travel. However, this change was certainly no pity for his readers, as the latter-day Newby continued on his unwavering quest for fascinating detail and adventure wherever he roamed, whether on two feet or two wheels. A Traveller's Life chronicles the incredible adventures of one of the best-loved tour guides in the history of travel writing.
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Veteran travel writer Eric Newby has a massive following and is cherished as the forefather of the modern comic travel book. However, less known are his adventures during the years he spent as an apprentice and commercial buyer in the improbable trade of women's fashion.

From his repatriation as a prisoner of war in 1945 to his writing of the bestselling A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush in 1956, Eric Newby's years as a commercial traveller in the world of haute couture were as full of adventure and oddity as any during his time as travel editor for the Observer.

Something Wholesale is Newby's hilarious and wonderfully chaotic tale of the disorder that was his life as an apprentice to the family garment firm of Lane and Newby, including hilariously recounted escapades with sudden-onset wool allergies, waist-deep predicaments in tissue paper and the soul-destroying task of matching buttons.

In addition to the charming chaos of his work in the family business, it is also a warm and loving portrait of his father, a delightfully eccentric gentleman who managed to spend more energy avoiding and actively participating in disasters than he did in preserving his business.

With its quick wit, self-deprecating charm and splendidly fascinating detail, this is vintage Newby - only with a garment bag in place of a well-worn suitcase.
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