Jerusalem is not an ordinary city and Crossing Jerusalem is not a standard telling of its story.
At once a traditional travelogue, a questioning of spiritual values, and an examination of
the beliefs that have sustained Jerusalem’s populations through centuries of conflict and
division, this book offers an unusual yet penetrating perspective of the city and its
This omnibus edition brings together Nicholas Woodsworth’s critically acclaimed Mediterranean trilogy into a single volume for the first time, allowing readers to fully appreciate the scope of Woodsworth’s search for a distinctively Mediterranean “cosmopolitanism.” Combining travel narrative, history, and reflection on contemporary lives and cultures, Woodsworth finds an intimacy, a garrulous warmth, and an extraordinary sociability as he travels from Alexandria through Venice and finally installs himself in a former Benedictine monastery in Istanbul overlooking the Golden Horn. Responding to this experience, he argues that the sea should not be seen as an empty space surrounded by Europe, Asia, and Africa, but rather as a single entity, a place from whose coastlines people look inwards over the water to each other—for it has its own cities, its own life, its own way of being.
A region steeped in fable and myth, Provence is a cultural crossroads of European history. A source of inspiration to artists, poets, and troubadours, it is now an enviable refuge for the wealthy and fashionable. Nicholas Woodsworth, who was born in Ottawa, Canada, married into a Provençal family and has lived in the region for decades. Lovingly recounting vivid details of life in Provence, he provides here a welcome antidote to the typical rosé-tinted, romantic view of it being a perennially sunny destination for tourists.
The true Provençaux have always lived a hard life close to the land and the rhythms of the seasons. And it is in the revelation and understanding of these lives, of the Provençal people, that the truths of the region are to be found. As much a study of Provençal culture and history as a memoir and travel book, this is a deep and soulful investigation into a way of life that remains very distinct from that of the rest of France.