Thinking Places

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Overview

Thinking Places is a literary travel book with tales of many journeys and fresh insights into the lives of thirty-one creative people and the private retreats or pathways used in their work.
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Overview

Thinking Places is a literary travel book with tales of many journeys and fresh insights into the lives of thirty-one creative people and the private retreats or pathways used in their work.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781425167547
  • Publisher: Trafford Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/20/2007
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.94 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    This is an interesting, fun book about the lives of creative leaders in the arts and sciences. It is particularly strong in its coverage of 19th century and early 20th century literary figures, including Twain, Dickens, Kipling, Yeats, Robert Lewis Stevenson, Virginia Woolf and many others. Also included are a few scientists and inventors, including Darwin, Edison and Bell. The book is unique in the way it weaves the life stories of these creative giants with descriptions of the places in which each of them worked and found inspiration ¿ their ¿thinking places¿ ¿ which may be homes, offices, studios, or even a walking path, such as Charles Darwin¿s Sandwalk in Downe, England There are 28 chapters, discussing 28 different creative individuals. Each chapter has a few sections: ¿Journey¿ gives a brief, vivid account of Carolyn and Jack Fleming¿s search for this individual¿s key thinking place ¿Vignette¿ recounts some interesting and often little-known historical events in the given individual¿s life ¿Thinking Places¿ describes the places, with accompanying photos, and with discussion of how the individual worked and found inspiration there and ¿Lagniappe¿ adds some surprising fact or insight, which the Flemings often discovered unexpectedly during their research travels. '¿Lagniappe¿ is a French-cajun word for ¿a little something extra.¿' The Fleming¿s choice of historical information in 'Vignettes' is pleasantly idiosyncratic -- little-known but significant and interesting facts. Together with the descriptions of where these thinkers did their creative work, the Flemings bring their subjects¿ personalities alive in a new way. For example, I was shocked to learn that Thomas Carlyle had to rewrite the whole first volume of The French Revolution after giving the manuscript to John Stuart Mill. How could J.S. Mill let his maid confuse such an important document with trash for burning, as he claimed? I suspect that there is some untold story there. And what a setback for Carlyle! The travel tales that the Flemings have weaved into the text are fun to read, and will no doubt inspire many readers to follow in the Fleming¿s footsteps. Also, the photos compliment the text very well. It's helpful to see detailed images of each thinking place. Next time I'm in the UK, I plan to visit Down House and Darwin's Sandwalk. Also I want to see Charles Dicken's places in Kent. I've already been to the Dickens House Museum in London, but the author¿s house in Rochester, Kent where he finished David Copperfield and his nearby Swiss Chalet summer writing hut are arguably more important Dickens sites. The Robert Louis Stevenson chapter is my personal favorite. The Flemings truly have a deep understanding of Stevenson, and their description of where he worked in Vailima at the base of Mt Vaea, Samoa gives surprising new insights into his life. Besides offering such insights into the creative process for many admired geniuses, Carolyn and Jack Fleming¿s charming book may inspire readers to find their own thinking places.

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