Category Archives: literature

When in Umbria: Spoleto, Part 1

Spoleto Duomo bell tower

Chiesa San Gregorio Maggiore bell tower

After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, we decided on Spoleto as the base for a week in Umbria. We found what looked to be (and was indeed) a comfortable, reasonably-priced apartment with lots of light and even a terrace with a view. The owners, British expats Norma and Laurie, were bursting with excellent information and, where needed, gratefully appreciated assistance in getting around. But it was more than that: they truly made us feel we’d arrived at a home away from home. Continue reading

When in Rome, Part 3

John Keats died at Rome of a consumption, in his twenty-fourth year, on the [23rd] of [February] 1821; and was buried in the romantic and lonely cemetery of the protestants in that city, under the pyramid which is the tomb of Cestius, and the massy walls and towers, now mouldering and desolate, which formed the circuit of ancient Rome. The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered in winter with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with death to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place. Continue reading

January Miscellany: Hoffman, Schubert, and Marie Vieux-Chauvet

Playing around: The image of a Hans Hoffman woodcut in an arts magazine proved an irresistible impulse for coloring between the lines. After all, I’d collected dozens of colored pencils some time back (they looked so very appealing on display in a local arts and stationery shop) and they’d been neglected for far too long. Spare buttons discovered in a winter decluttering session, a leaf stamp and ink pad, a couple British stamps, and a magazine image of tiles all got their moment in the sun as well. Continue reading

Visiting Mr. Darcy’s Mansion

Chatsworth House

Well, not exactly, though it’s said that Jane Austen may have “based her idea of Pemberley on Chatsworth House”:

The eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of the valley into which the road into some abruptness wound. Continue reading