City of Florence: Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
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City of Florence: Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings

by R.W.B. Lewis
     
 

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A New York Times Notable Book

In this deeply personal and learned labor of love, R.W.B. Lewis provides a new look at the glories of Florence, the smallish Tuscan city which has been a prime source for modern Western culture and which has also been his second home for fifty years. With a scholar's eye and a lover's passion, he invites us to share his vision of a

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Overview

A New York Times Notable Book

In this deeply personal and learned labor of love, R.W.B. Lewis provides a new look at the glories of Florence, the smallish Tuscan city which has been a prime source for modern Western culture and which has also been his second home for fifty years. With a scholar's eye and a lover's passion, he invites us to share his vision of a city and the way of life it has engendered and inspired.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This is wonderful history-detailed, fluid, and carried along by emotion. I cannot imagine visiting Florence without reading this book.” —Karen Stabiner, Los Angeles Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With the same grace and scholarship that marked his recent Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Edith Wharton, Lewis takes us into the heart of the city where he and his wife have lived off and on for 50 years. Their experiences in Florence come alive in his descriptions of the places they have rented, their friends, their explorations and their reflections. The author also shows off the city with quotes from Henry James, T.S. Eliot, the Brownings, Bocaccio, Dante and other writers and artists who have been similarly touched by its ambience. While he was working on the book, Lewis informs us, ``even a simple bus ride into the center carries me past strong historical and personal associations... [that] we know we have seen before... [yet] we look at as though for the first time.'' His fresh view of the city on the Arno makes this a treasurable guide. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Forget April in Paris, autumn in New York, and even Disney theme parks; the world's most magical place is Florence. Rare is the poet or novelist who comes away from that Italian city uninspired (even those who may not have enjoyed a room with a view during their visit). Accurately described as a "deeply personal and learned labor of love," this volume is literary historian Lewis's erudite paean to Florentine charms. Lewis, most noted for his highly regarded biography of Edith Wharton (1975), skillfully interweaves his personal associations with the city, which began during military service in World War II, with those of more celebrated visitors over the centuries. A generous portion of history is added. Lewis has a vast store of knowledge about many subjects but never sounds pedantic; he assumes that his readers are also knowledgeable. For those who aren't, or who have never been to Florence, his book may demand too much concentration and commitment. Public and academic libraries with earlier, similar works on the city (e.g., Mary McCarthy's The Stones of Florence, 1959, and, more recently, Christopher Hibbert's Florence: The Biography of a City, Norton, 1993) may consider Lewis's an optional purchase. (Illustrations not seen.) [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/94.]-Mary C. Kalfatovic, Telesec Lib. Svcs., Washington, D.C.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805046304
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
624,465
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.81(d)

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