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A Late Education: Episodes in a Life [Hardcover]

Alan Moorehead
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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A Late Education: Episodes in a Life + The Villa Diana: Travels Through Post-war Italy (Revival)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 178 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton; First Edition edition (12 Nov 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241019869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241019863
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book by Moorehead Alan

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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 25 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
'Who will ever forget his first sight of a prewar French railway terminus at the rush hour?' Well, we have never seen it (or we only have a dim idea from old French movies) but Alan Moorehead helps us imagine it. And did you know the Paris of 1938 had 150 newspapers? Moorehead read them all daily - and he was only working for The Express!

This little gem has had a complicated history, processing waif-like between four different publishers (the last Granta, who don't usually do reeditions). It's a memoir, it's short yet cunningly structured, and the contrast with John Lucas's Next Year Will Be Better is instructive. Moorehead hails from a similar stratum ('We were the genteel poor and in a country with so few inhabitants [Australia] that was almost the worst sort of poor to be; we could never hide') but while his account of, roughly, the Forties reverberates with passion and poetry (on his first sight of England he talks of Plymouth's 'complacent chimneypots') the poet Lucas's evocation of the Fifties is comically pedestrian and at least twice the length. Heigh ho - maybe Slightly Foxed will pick up on this for their series (next up #18 Elspeth Huxley's sublime Flame Trees of Thika) and give it one last tilt at glory. But beware - once you've read it you'll be hungry for everything else he's written. In immediacy it rivals Koestler's Scum of the Earth - than which there can be no higher praise

August 2013 Well, waddaya know? They have!! Right after Thika too - and what's more Amazon have tied it in with the edition I reviewed, so I shan't need to do it twice.. tho the Amazon record and price look dicky to me; contact the publisher
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very fine memoir 22 Nov 2002
By Claus Hetting - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Alan Moorehead was a war correspondent during WW2 and since authored a number of fine documentary works, including the White Nile, Gallipoli, and many more. In this book he recounts episodes from his fascinating vocation, mostly from around WW2, but the book is also a heartfelt memoir of a life long relationship with a dear friend and colleague. The stories include some excellent commentary his journalistic approach, and give a glimpse of his fantastic writing career, developing from a mildly uninspired Australian schoolboy into one of the finest documentary authors of the 20th century.

Alan Moorehead has the uncanny ability to keep the reader's eyes glued to the pages. He is enormously satisfying and enjoyable to read. He must have been a person of great compassion and intelligence, and I imagine him being moved by a unflinching desire to search for and faithfully report the truth.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncategorisable account of friendship and war 10 Nov 1999
By Richard Samson (samsonr@oup.com.au) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I got into Alan Moorehead by picking up an old Penguin edition of A Late Education second-hand at South Melbourne market. Since then, I've read more, and it seems to me that Moorehead is one of the great prose stylists of the 20th Century. The Australian Moorehead was a war correspondent in Europe during the Spanish Civil War and WWII. This is an account of Moorehead's friendship with another young war correspondent, Alex Clifford, throughout the North African and Western European campaigns, and after the war, up to Clifford's untimely early death. It is a fascinating portrait of young journalists thrown into adventure and danger, and of a unique friendship that grew as a result. As such, it's a kind of mix of The English Patient and Salvador - and very well written.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great experience. 31 July 2000
By Havacat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
To the other glowing reviews I can only add that it's worthwhile for the piece about Hemingway alone. The final chapter was emotionally wrenching and unforgettable
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Written, But The Trust Factor Is Shot 9 Oct 2014
By Don Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A Late Education, Episodes In A Life, Alan Moorehead [1910-1983]; Harper & Row (1970 hardcover)

Things were going well after reading this memoir & a rave review was in the works. Then, something was discovered that, to me, undermined the credibility of the story told.

"ALE" is definitely recommended! Moorehead's prose is exemplary & in instances, at length, brilliant. The ending of the book is nothing short of amazing. Perfect.

What's not acceptable is that trust has been abused (not by the author). Once this happens...

Let someone else vouch for the reliability of what you are about to read, because the entire plot, & ultimately, the credibility of the memoir depends on the truth of the story about what had been originally said about the street address of the funeral home in which the service of his deceased best friend, Alex Clifford, is to be held in 1952.

(Leave it at that. Further detail would "spoil" the narrative's suspense.)

Added to the review of "Sunset & Twilight, From the Diaries of 1947-58," Bernard Berenson [1865-1959]; Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. (1963 hardcover; added to review on 10/08/14):

"Journalist & author Alan Moorehead (1910-1983) went through his 'Dante's Reset' ('midlife crisis' is a loathsome phrase) while staying at Bernard Berenson's villa in Florence after World War II, in the late 1940s.

"He greatly appreciated his host's kind disposition & generosity during his extended & impenetrable writer's drought (considering the number of articles & books that Moorehead wrote in his lifetime, you'd think this to be impossible. It did happen).

"If you have the time, take a look at Moorehead's memoir, 'A Late Education, Episodes In A Life' (1970), in which Berenson's thoughtfulness is documented & appreciated.

"Also be advised that:

" 'ALE' was stitched together from Moorehead's autobiographical essays & articles years after a medical stroke in December 1966 had rendered him unable to speak, read or write for the remainder of his life (1967-1983. Source: Moorehead's profile on Wikipedia, 10/08/14).

"This practice was not acknowledged by Random House. RH did not provide the memoir with a Preface, in which such a critically defining circumstance should have been stated. THIS IS AN ACT OF DECEIT BY OMISSION.

For these stories to "fit" together into a memoir, for continuity to exist from chapter to chapter, text MUST have been edited. Things must have been cut & other things must have been added.

This in itself isn't a big deal; this is a variation of the accepted practice of abridging a best seller in later decades when it is reissued. Some of the original material by that time has inevitably become irrelevant & is expendable. Background information about people once famous & now forgotten must be added in order to provide clarity & historical context.

The point is that when this is done, the abridged edition is CLEARLY IDENTIFIED as having been abridged.

The alteration of Moorehead's original articles & essays was not acknowledged in a Preface to "A Late Education." And that stinks.

"Also Note That: In the text of the Wikipedia profile, 'A Late Education' provides a bogus copyright date of '1972.' It was published in 1970, a date provided by my physical copy of the book (it is also correctly listed in Moorehead's bibliography that follows this profile)."
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