Guide Excursions [with Biographical Introduction]

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For companions he relied instead on a circle of friends and correspondents, and especially, in later life, on his Albanian Suliot chef, Giorgis, a faithful friend and, as Lear complained, a thoroughly unsatisfactory chef. Another trusted companion in Sanremo was his cat, Foss, who died in and was buried with some ceremony in a garden at Villa Tennyson.


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After a long decline in his health, Lear died at his villa in , of the heart disease from which he had suffered since at least Lear is buried in the Foce Cemetery in Sanremo. Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair.


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With such a pencil, such a pen. You shadow forth to distant men, I read and felt that I was there. The centenary of his death was marked in Britain with a set of Royal Mail stamps in and an exhibition at the Royal Academy. His first publication, published when he was 19, was Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots in His paintings were well received and he was favourably compared with Audubon.

Edward Lear, who showed an early interest in drawing the natural world, came to Knowsley through a fortuitous connection with the 13th Earl of Derby. In June , Lear applied to the Zoological Society of London to request permission to draw from their collection of parrots, with a view to publishing his own book Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae. Lord Stanley, later 13th Earl of Derby, who as a young man had begun to collect natural history books and drawings, happened to chair the meeting where this application was approved. Lord Stanley subsequently commissioned Lear to paint the birds and mammals from the aviary and menagerie which he had set up at Knowsley.

During the years — that Lear was at Knowsley, his relationship with Edward Stanley became increasingly less formal. Over this period, in addition to drawing and painting, Lear entertained the children of the Stanley family. In , Lear left Knowsley for Rome, a move which was fully supported by Edward Stanley, now 13th Earl of Derby, as part of his personal and artistic development. With a base in Rome, the artist travelled for the following eleven years through Italy, and it was during this period that he established himself as a landscape painter.

Lear travelled for three years in Italy from and published two volumes of illustrations, Illustrated Excursions in Italy, the first of many such books. Lear briefly gave drawing lessons to Queen Victoria, who had been pleased by the Excursions and summoned him to court, leading to some awkward incidents when he failed to observe proper court protocol. His middle stories are prosaic and somewhat esoteric and we again are introduced to a set of characters that peak our interest.

The conclusion is in Venice and as usual leaves me wanting more. It was only after completing the book that I discovered these were first written as essays and while they mesh together to give a view of a life I do look forward to reading his biography but maybe this is all he wants us to know.

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Trevor -- as always the most marvelous writer. I especially enjoyed his reflections on growing up in Ireland as a member of the not so prosperous Ascendancy. His memories of boarding school and Trinity are poignant and funny. He offers frank opinions, not the usual paeans of praise, on the personalities of some of the notables of Irish literature: Yeats, O'Casey and Beckett. Fascinating on a now obscure writer Gerhardie, well-respected for a time but later burned out. Wonderful description of Trevor -- as always the most marvelous writer. Wonderful description of his walk through the mountains near Tipperary and Clonmel.

Didn't care as much for his musings on New York in the early 70's or on Venice. May 24, Ellen rated it really liked it. Another fabulous writer. This autobiographical volume, written so well. Trevor's childhood in south-west Ireland, his unhappily married parents and his schoolmasters.

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He has a wonderful sense of humour but still with a serious side such as a Protestant in Catholic Ireland always have your wits about you, be aware of consequences. What a skill this novelist has in his writing of fiction and in true life you can picture what he is writing about, poverty raises its head once more. Recommend highly.


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Oct 02, Sheila rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction. I love how this starts - the introduction is a wonderful sideways look at the question: what makes a writer? And then the essays about people - "the bits left behind" when Trevor was picking through his own experience to write fiction - are brilliant and, again sideways, give us insights into Trevor's life. It's when he talks about cities, I found the essays faltered. Or maybe it was just me. Oct 24, Croydon rated it really liked it.

I don't know what I was expecting in a memoir from the writer of two wonderful, but deeply depressing novels "Felicia's Journey" and "Two Lives" but this breezy collection of essays about his life was certainly not it. The collection sputters a bit towards the end when he turns to the lives of others for inspiration but it's a minor hiccup in this charming collection.

Highly recommended. Oct 18, Bryan rated it liked it Shelves: memoir , irish-history. A collection of essays ranging from childhood memoirs to international travel, Trevor's fans will find the personal memoirs the strongest material evoking, as they do, his short stories and demonstrating if demonstration were needed how much he drew on personal experience for his pinpoint accurate depictions of rural and small town life in mid 20th century Ireland.

The travel essays were less to my taste, being less material, less grounded in reality, more abstract. The essay on New York, in p A collection of essays ranging from childhood memoirs to international travel, Trevor's fans will find the personal memoirs the strongest material evoking, as they do, his short stories and demonstrating if demonstration were needed how much he drew on personal experience for his pinpoint accurate depictions of rural and small town life in mid 20th century Ireland.

The essay on New York, in particular, that most material of cities, labours under a miasma of subjective, barely coherent sense impressions that will shock any reader used to Trevor's almost tangible clarity.

Perhaps the master of the particulars of country life was simply unable to grasp such a vast metropolis. Dec 28, Adrian added it. A volume of essays from the Irish short story writer. The best are on growing up in remote Ireland and discovering the magic of Dublin. He writes well on the odd characters he met at Trinity College, working as an advertising copywriter and having to devise promotional campaigns for various foreign companies including Canadian Pacific; there is a short portrait of Ted Hughes' second tragic paramour Assia Wevil.

Some travel pieces are included and I liked the one on New York City in the best A volume of essays from the Irish short story writer. Some travel pieces are included and I liked the one on New York City in the best of these. Feb 07, Yooperprof rated it liked it Shelves: ireland , memoir.

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The autobiographical essays - mostly about the author's upbringing in rural Ireland in the s and 40s - are much better than the travel essays, which while well-written rarely rise above the level of competency. Dec 03, Arthur Hoyle rated it really liked it. Discover the sources of Trevor's spare fiction in this unadorned memoir. Deb rated it it was amazing Feb 27, Mark rated it really liked it Nov 29, Denise rated it really liked it May 12, Happy reading Excursions [with Biographical Introduction] Bookeveryone.

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