In one of the most beautiful river valleys in Europe, in the region known as Périgord in southwest France, castles crown the hills, and the surrounding villages seem carved all of a piece out of the local stone. In 1985, in the shadow of one of these medieval castles, Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden fell in love with a small stone house that became their summer home.
Like any romance, this one has had its ups and downs, and Betsy and Michael chart its course in this delightful memoir. They offer an intimate glimpse of a region little known to Americans—the Dordogne valley, its castles and prehistoric art, its walking trails and earthy cuisine—and describe the charms and mishaps of setting up housekeeping thousands of miles from home.
Along with the region’s terrain and culture, A Castle in the Backyard introduces us to the people of Périgord—the castle’s proprietor, the village children, the gossipy real-estate agent, the rascally mason, and the ninety-year-old widow with a tale of heartbreak. A celebration of a place and its people, the book also reflects on the future of historic Périgord as tourism and development pose a challenge to its graceful way of life.
In the Castle of My Skin
George Lamming University of Michigan Press, 1992 Library of Congress PR9230.9.L25I5 1991 | Dewey Decimal 813
Nearly forty years after its initial publication, George Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin is considered a classic narrative of the Black colonial experience. This poetic autobiographical novel juxtaposes the undeveloped, unencumbered life of a small Caribbean island with the materialism and anxiety of the twentieth century.
Written when Lamming was twenty-three and residing in England, In the Castle of My Skin poignantly chronicles the author's life from his ninth to his nineteenth year. Through the eyes of a young boy the experiences of colonial education, class tensions, and natural disaster are interpreted and reinterpreted, mediated through the presence of the old villagers and friends who leave for the mainland.
One of the leading Black writers of the twentieth century, George Lamming is the author of numerous works exploring the colonial experience.
Written by one of Italy's most eminent scholars of music, this book explores music's place in the cultural, artistic, and literary life of medieval Italian courts, paying particular attention to the influence of French culture on Italian artistic and musical traditions.
In the first of three elegant essays, Gallo examines the troubadours who traveled to northern Italian courts from Provence during the thirteenth century. He discusses their performance practices, the verbal and musical sophistication of their songs, and their role in the daily life of courtiers at Genoa, Ferrara, and Monferrato. The second essay concerns the now dispersed collection of the Visconti library at Pavia. Here, Gallo examines how this collection expressed the tastes of the fourteenth-century court of Giangaleazzo Visconti, how French arts were imported and imitated at Pavia, and the effects this had on music heard at the court. In the final essay, Gallo looks at the fifteenth-century tradition of improvised music, and especially the virtuoso lute player Pietrobono. Mythologized in literary circles of his day, Pietrobono becomes a point of departure for a discussion of the entire vision of music of Italian humanists, from Guarino Veronese to Aurelio Brandolini.