The autobiography of Iris Origo, this book recounts her childhood divided between three different worlds, New York, Ireland and Italy; her marriage to Antonio Origo, and her work with refugee children, feeding partisans and helping Allied prisoners-of-war during the German occupation.
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Iris Origo was born in 1902 and was instantly catapulted into a life of "unfair advantages of birth, education, money, environment and opportunity." But she used this birth-right wisely, and her legacy includes a string of books beloved and admired equally by historians, biographers, and readers.
Origo's mother, Lady Sybil Cuffe, married William Bayard Cutting in 1901, and when the family was not traveling to the far corners of the earth, Iris spent her youth in the ancestral estate on Long Island and in her grandfather's castle in Ireland. Her father died tragically when she was eight, and she continued her peripatetic life with her indefatigable mother and beloved governess. A woman who always knew her mind, in 1923 Origo bought La Foce, an entire valley, almost feudal in organization, in the Val d'Orcia of Tuscany. There for fifty years she worked tirelessly with her husband, improving the land and the lot of the peasants, saving endangered children from the brutal incursions of the Nazis, and writing history and memoirs that are still considered classics of the genre.
Origo was at once a woman of action and introspection, of boundless curiosity and endearing innocence. She wrote beautifully, thoughtfully, and lucidly. As Raymond Mortimer once observed of this book, "A masterly biographer here recounts her own story . . . and in this biography she is at her best."
"A small classic of autobiography . . . Origo recreates the lost mad wold of Bernard Berenson and the Anglo-American artistic coterie in Florence. She is marvelous at nuances of place and personality, writing with a subtle mingling of candor and affection that lingers in the mind." -- Fiona MacCarthyAbout the Author:
Iris Origo (1902-1988) was a British-born biographer and writer. She lived in Italy and devoted much of her life to the improvement of the Tuscan estate at La Foce, which she purchased with her husband in the 1920s. During the Second World War, she sheltered refugee children and assisted many escaped Allied prisoners of war and partisans in defiance of Italy's fascist regime and Nazi occupation forces. Pushkin Press also publishes her war diaries, War in Val d'Orcia, as well as two of her biographies, A Study in Solitude: The Life of Leopardi - Poet, Romantic and Radical and The Last Attachment: The Story of Byron and Teresa Guiccioli.
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Book Description Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1971. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110151441014