Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

on 27 April 2012
"So that for us to go to Italy and penetrate into Italy is like a most satisfying act of self-discovery - back,back down the old ways of time.Strange and wonderful chords awake in us, and vibrate again after many hundreds of years of complete forgetfulness". Thus Lawrence acknowledges his debt to Italy. This trilogy is drenched with the most exquisite prose and ravishing metaphors (" And looking down the hill,among the grey smoke of olive leaves, pink puffs of smoke are rising up. It is the almond and apricot trees, it is the Spring") and similes ("The sky and sea are parting like an oyster shell, with a low red gape").He,typically,repeats and artfully re-works his ideas to enhance the effects. "And cork trees! I see curious,slim oaky-looking trees that are stripped quite naked below the boughs standing brown,ruddy...They remind me of glowing,coffee-brown,naked aborigines of the South Seas. They have the naked suavity,skin-bare and intense coffee-red colour of unclothed savages". I therefore enjoyed this book far more than the novels. And I was impressed by how this working-class boy peppered these Italian dishes with Biblical, classical and literary references.Of course, his philosophy and view of history is flawed. as is his attempt to penetrate minds and cultures with so little acquaintance, yet they do tell us a great deal about what was going on in his very original mind. Lawrence is not scientific. His heightened perception is subjective, idiosyncratic and anti-rational. He is physically aroused by nature and the ancient blood and life forces, the consequence of his fragile health that kept him out of the army, obliged him to give up his job and brought him to a premature death. But this was also the young man who walked from Switzerland to Italy. His account is conversational, humorous and sarcastic at times."I am thoroughly sick to death of the sound of liras.No man can hear ten words of Italian today without two thousand or two million or ten or twenty or two liras flying like mosquitoes round his ears. Liras - liras- liras-nothing else". His prophetic and major theme, shared with Blake, Ruskin and others, is the corrupting and impending threat of the machine and industrialisation."It is the hideous rashness of the world of men,the horrible desolating harshness of the advance of the industrial world upon the world of nature that is so painful. It looks as though the industrial spread of mankind were a sort of dry disintegration advancing and advancing. If only we could learn to take thought for the whole world instead of for merely tiny bits of it" . In his 'Italy' we are led through art, beauty ,thoughts and reflections - rather as Lawrence was , by a guide,through the Etruscan Tombs.
11 Comment| 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 April 2016
I'm glad I read this because Lady Chatterley's Lover (read & watched) didn't do it for me & I know that he did challenge social conventions even within his own social circle he was formidable & some couldn't stick him! I think he did go off on his own. I can see from these tales he is a good writer - opinionated & observant which I find better than his novels. It could be subject matter or I might read him with fresh eyes now!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 January 2016
I agree with the previous reviewer on the quality of the book's production, which is horrible in my case not because of the transparency of the pages but because of the indistinct print. Not that the words are not recognizable (actually they are), but that there is such a blurry quality to it that I almost believed it was a pirated copy. It is the first time I have seen Penguin degenerate into such such sub-quality productions. (A side point to make: For those of you who do not get my point about this book, refer to one of those Vintage Classics copies printed on yellowish paper.)
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 January 2016
A beautifully written book that is a necessary companion to anyone visiting the parts of Italy covered.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 February 2012
I do not think that the quality of this book acceptable. The paper is what I would call semi transparent. One can see the print on the other side of the paper whilst reading. Also the maps at the back leave a little to be desired. The sea is black and almost obscures the names printed on it.ie Amalfi on page 451 - Lawrence's Italy.

I am rating the quality of the book not the written contents.
11 Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 26 May 2016
One for Lawrence's fans. Just that I'm not one of them
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 August 2015
Excellent, efficient service. Thank you
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 13 December 2016
brand new book in good condition
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse