EDMONDO DE AMICIS    Book Number: 86878    Product format: Hardback

The poet, novelist and travel writer Edmondo de Amicis (1846-1908) began his career as a soldier before switching to journalism. He is best remembered for his children's stories Heart of a Boy. This is the first translation into English 'An Excursion to the Poor Districts of London' by Louis Laurent Simonin (1830-86) originally conceived as a series of newspaper articles and later published in volume form. De Amicis's 'Memories of London' brings back to life the charm of the capital of the British Empire. "And all around me cacophony - the iron bridges groaning under the weight of the long trains sounding their whistles and breathlessly whooshing out steam..." "People bumped into each other but didn't turn round. In the middle of the road a long line of large omnibuses went by. They were brightly painted, like carnival floats..." At the top of the Monument at Bank, "I found five friendly young men up at the top, massacring the French language... One of them came from Cologne, one from Manchester, one from Harlem, one from Guadalajara and the fifth from Lyon." "We pass in front of the glorious hospital of Greenwich and turn at the Isle of Dogs... There's still no break in the line of warehouses, factories, houses along the two banks, it seems as if the port is coming to an end. You take a breath, you need a rest, you are tired of being continually in a state of astonishment." "Flags from all the nations on earth, faces of all colours, words of unknown languages which you hear as you pass alongside ships, strange costumes and wild cries..." The short piece is paired with one written by his contemporary, the French writer Louis Laurent Simonin looking at the poverty and squalor of London's most deprived areas - thieves, labyrinthine alleys, filth "A parade of misery, of degradation, in that colourful crowd assembling with anxious curiosity at the burial of a girl of low character murdered by her lover. Who could paint that procession of haggard, crazed, fierce, discoloured faces? Not even Homer..." It is a world of pickpockets and thieves, low bedrooms and the dance hall. Woodcuts include the miserable looking young beggar sleeping and a drunk woman in prison. First published 1873 and 1862 respectively. Woodcut illus. 137pp.
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ISBN 9781847493262
Browse these categories as well: Great Britain, Maps & the Environment, History

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