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The Mandolin Lesson: A Journey of Self-discovery in Italy [Paperback]

Frances Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

28 Mar 2014
The Mandolin Lesson is a unique, quirky story of commuting to another country for music lessons. Beautifully redolent of an Italy before emails and mobiles, low cost fares and the channel tunnel, it relates an inspirational story of following one's passion against all the odds. It is a journey of the moment that happened ahead of its time. Frances Taylor plays an unusual instrument - the mandolin - and when she gets an unexpected opportunity to study her instrument in its native land, Italy, she feels compelled to do so. The only problem is that as a thirty-something with family and work commitments in England, she has to study part-time, commuting once a month. Travelling to Padua during the nineties, Frances stays in Brescia and Bologna. Seduced by the charms of the Italian way of life, she helps with the cherry harvest, learns to cook local dishes and finds out how to dress elegantly. Frances thinks at first she is finding out about her instrument and music, and then about another culture, but ultimately she is on a journey to find out about herself, an interior journey in which she learns to reconnect with her spirit... The Mandolin Lesson is an evocative memoir from the only female professional classical mandolinist in the country - and the only British person to have studied mandolin in Italy at Conservatoire level. The theme of the book is both timeless and universal, about a journey we are all on; a journey to find out about ourselves and to reconnect with who we really are. It will resonate with readers interested in inspirational self-development books, and will also appeal to fans of human interest stories, as well as those interested in Italy and its culture, music in general and the mandolin.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (28 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1783062983
  • ISBN-13: 978-1783062980
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A fascinatingly detailed account of how a love affair with the mandolin became a love affair with Italy as well. It shows the lengths to which an excellent musician will go to become an even better one.' --Louis de Bernieres Captain Corelli's Mandolin

About the Author

Mandolinist Frances Taylor lives in London. Since the 1980s she has promoted the mandolin by giving concerts throughout Britain and abroad, playing in high profile venues such as London's South Bank and working with prestigious orchestras such as the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent holiday read 7 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Frances describes her engagement with Italian culture and cuisine alongside her lessons with the legendary Ugo Orlandi. I enjoyed Frances's account of her musical, personal and spiritual journey, told through a series of 'snapshots' over a number of years. I'm planning to read it again on my next visit to Italy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! 3 May 2014
By auntjulia - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This delightful memoir had me hooked from the first page. Who would have ever thought the mandolin could be so enchanting? Well, it is. And so is author Frances Taylor. A natural writer as well as musician, Taylor describes in rich and vivid detail the years she traveled from the UK to Italy to study under the tutelage of Maestro Ugo Orlandi. Her innocence and then maturity as both a traveler and a musician is honest and heart-warming. The strength and determination at which she accomplishes her musical goals serve as a model to others. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Taylor and her Italian friends. Highly recommended!
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