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Letters from London and Europe, By Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (trs J G Nicols)

Outsider's view of England's silvery and pleasant land

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's fondness for wherever he travelled and his willingness only to see the best in places – especially Britain – must endear him to the hardest heart.

Stratford-upon-Avon is full of "silvery reflections"; the Highlands have colours he never expected to see.

These letters were written between 1925 and 1930 when he had a peripatetic lifestyle, moving from one hotel to the next. He seems to have been testing the waters regarding his own literary abilities, to see what kind of writer he would become. Between extravagant geographical descriptions flashes an artist's eye for detail, and human moments, such as when a London policeman's boot melts in the heat, sticking him to the road.