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Travels in Tuscany

9,00 €

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by Ch. Spencer

illustrations by A. Rauch

publication year: 2000
170x240 mm; 96 pp.
over 100 colour illustrations

88-85957-81-1 English
88-85957-79-X Italian

The life of Charles Spencer offers little scope for imaginative speculation. The youngest of the four children of John Spencer and Margaret Mills, Charles was the only one to follow his father’s footsteps. In 1914, the year of the elder Spencer’s death, he took control of the flourishing solicitor’s business, where he had been a partner since 1903. When the young Charles took his degree at Oxford in 1894, his future path seemed fairly clearly mapped out for him by family tradition. Before taking articles, however, he set out on a tour of Europe, like many a well-to-do young man before him. (...)
The experience was recorded in a series of notebooks, which lay forgotten in a drawer for years, until they were collected after the author’s death by his daughter Margaret, and were privately printed. The edition sank without trace (Charles Spencer, Tour in Europe, London 1939). This was a pity, because Spencer, who had no pretensions as a writer and merely recorded his impressions of his journeys for his own sake, was a curious and in many respects a modern man, capable of a deep understanding of the countries and cultures he visited. Attentive above all to the art and architecture of the past, which were his twin passions, he was also prepared to pay close attention to what today we should call social culture. (...)
What sort of Tuscany is evoked by Spencer’s pages? A Tuscany of city-states and belltowers, of good red wine, of country traditions. In this Tuscany not a word is said about Leonardo da Vinci, and only the briefest mention is made of Michelangelo; but Piero della Francesca and Caravaggio are lovingly dwelt upon, and so too are wayside votive tabernacles. It is the singular and everyday Tuscany, as seen by a tranquil English traveller, a lover of art and fine food, prodigal with adjectives, full of good sense.
(from Herbert Cornwell’s Preface)