From Library Journal
Munthe was a true Renaissance man a scientist and doctor as well as a poet who was a friend of Henry James, Somerset Maugham, and others. In this 1929 volume, he offers an account of San Michele, a house he built on the site of Roman emperor Tiberius's villa on the Isle of Capri off Italy's southern coast. His weaving of the story of the house with Italian history, mythology, and culture is reminiscent of 18th- and 19th-century travelogs. This book was a smash in several languages for many years.
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One of the most fascinating of books, wise in its appraisal of men, overflowing with humour and edged with irony, sharper than a surgeon's knife. There are chapters which are veritable de Maupassant plots in their concise and dramatic realism. New York Herald Tribune Told with a power and an honesty which makes this a very remarkable document. TLS The Story of San Michele has style, wit, humour, great knowledge of the world, mixed with that strange simplicity of mind that is often the attribute of genius. Observer Romantic, realistic, pitiful and enchanting, this is the record of a citadel of the soul ... all fantasy does it seem? Impossible? Absurd? But San Michele stands there on the hill for witness. A miracle? Well, every work of art is a miracle, and every beautiful thing the shrine of a realized dream. Daily Telegraph A most interesting and lovable revelation, enchantingly described. Punch I have found Dr Munthe's reminiscences intensely interesting and enjoyable, and it is hard to convey their charm of mingled pathos and humour or their multiplicity of appeal. Illustrated London News It is an amazing book: wonderfully beautiful at times, appallingly horrible at others. For horrors he rivals Poe, recounting his gruesome experiences with a quiet simplicity which is strikingly effective. Western Mail 'A beautifully written series of episodes from Paris to Capri, ...recounting the author's struggle to discover what he desires from life.' - Matthew Linnecar Geographical There is enough material here to furnish the writers of sensational short stories with plots for the rest of their lives. Daily News
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