Always looking for a good book to read, travel books can be a big hit and miss. That is why we are giving you a series on travel books we love and travel books we would definitely leave at the next book exchange…
Statistics- How Much, How Big, and How Long
Size: 16.5cm X 26.5cm
Hours to read: 2 (5-6 leisurely)
What is it about?
This is a collection of travel writing from the fantastically named Gertrude Elizabeth Blood, who writes under her married name of Lady Colin Campbell.
She was scandalous in her life for having tried to divorce her husband for cruelty and unfaithfulness. Unable to do so thanks to the courts, she went off instead and became a successful writer, editor, and journalist (yaaas, girl!).
She has a fantastically sharp wit and humour. Conspiring with the reader, she complains about overly affectionate couples filling her mind with ‘murderous desire”. Living from 1857 – 1911, the lady travelled in a golden age (for wealthy white folk, at any rate).
She writes of Venice, Milan, Paris and London.
Her writing is imbued with little facts woven into the prose, she doesn’t dare to meet her Venetian friend in the “ill omened” space between the pillars of St Mark and St Theodore, where the Council of Ten ordered executions to take place.
The writing is flowery, verbose, and romantic – but what is travel if not an adventure in “oh the sunset! Oh the food! Never have I had a grape so delicious ever before in my life!”
Did I like it?
I absolutely loved this book.
I spent so much time laughing aloud and reading snippets to people.
Such as the fly “sent by Satan” to land on the nose of a Frenchman. Who subsequently allows the lady on the bicycle, who he had been helping, to fall off!
Said lady bares her legs and her underthings to all that are present. Including a priest who “is so overcome by the fluttering and fleeting vision that is given to him of blue silk and white lace that he grows violently red, crosses himself hurriedly, and departs with hastening strides to seek some secluded spot where wheels and petticoats cannot pursue him!”
Not to mention her reflections on the “connubial warblings” of the American couple in the hotel room next to hers in Milan.
I Recommend This Book For:
While this tome would make for an excellent coffee shop read in France or Italy, I feel it’s true power is in its ability to transport the reader to that rose-tinted vision of travel.
This is, by far, one of the best armchair travel books I have read in a long time. You explore the markets near the Rialto with her, you want to bite into the sweet treats, and you can feel yourself racing against the rain on your bicycle.
An excellent before bed book, with short inclusions and dreamy prose. Or a train to work book. It takes your mind off the 8 hour slog ahead, but also small enough to fit in any handbag – or even a coat pocket.
That’s all for this week – I hope you enjoyed my Woman’s Walks Review!
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