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Letters of a Dead Man

Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau

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ISBN 10: 0884024113 / ISBN 13: 9780884024118
Published by Harvard University Press Apr 2016, 2016
New Condition: Neu
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Neuware - In 1826, Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau began a tour of England, Wales, and Ireland. His letters home were part memoir, part travelogue and political commentary, part epistolary novel. His rhetorical flare and acute observations provoked German poet Heinrich Heine to describe him as the 'most fashionable of eccentric men--Diogenes on horseback.' 753 pp. Englisch. Bookseller Inventory # 9780884024118

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Letters of a Dead Man

Publisher: Harvard University Press Apr 2016

Publication Date: 2016

Binding: Buch

Book Condition:Neu

About this title


In 1826, the prince of Puckler-Muskau embarked on a tour of England, Wales, and Ireland. Although captivated by all things British, his initial objective was to find a wealthy bride. He and his wife Lucie, having expended every resource on a plan to transform their estate into a vast landscape park, agreed to an amicable divorce, freeing him to forge an advantageous alliance that could rescue their project. For over two years, Puckler s letters home conveyed a vivid, often quirky, and highly entertaining account of his travels. From the metropolis of London, he toured the mines and factories of the Industrial Revolution and visited the grand estates and spectacular art collections maintained by its beneficiaries. He encountered the scourge of rural and urban poverty and found common cause with the oppressed Irish. With his gift for description, Puckler evokes the spectacular landscapes of Wales, the perils of transportation, and the gentle respite of manor houses and country inns. Part memoir, part travelogue and political commentary, part epistolary novel, Puckler s rhetorical flare and acute observations provoked the German poet Heinrich Heine to characterize him as the most fashionable of eccentric men Diogenes on horseback. "


"The first complete translation into English of what is, after all, one of the most remarkable and comprehensive portraits of Britain in this period and one made by a writer who is well known in Germany if little known in the English-speaking world, except to experts on landscape and gardening. Puckler's descriptions of wild scenery are astonishing, as are his intrepidity and stamina when traversing such terrain; his accounts of magnificent parks, flower gardens and long-vanished garden buildings are especially valuable because they were made at a moment when concern for privacy and security were, increasingly, an impediment to curiosity. But the letters are of equal interest for historians who wish to understand the social rituals of that period, providing, for example, accounts of country house dinner conversation conducted against the background music of torrential male urine; of an audience, attired in deepest mourning for the deceased Duke of York, screeching with laughter at a pantomime; and of an awkward moment at court when, as George IV attempts to confer a knighthood, the sword sticks in its scabbard We also gain insight into the aesthetic values and modes of interpretation characteristic of a cosmopolitan man of taste at that date." --Nicholas Penny London Review of Books (06/16/2016)"

"[Puckler-Muskau] is sharp, witty and has an ear for a good story. What more could be asked of a companion? Goethe and Heine both hailed the prince's book as a new classic. They were probably right to do so. This splendid publication is an example of travel-writing at its best." --Leslie Mitchell Literary Review (07/01/2016)"

"[A] classic of travel literature Von Puckler-Muskau writes with an engaging intimacy, charm and eye for detail. At times he almost resembles his contemporary Stendhal, vivaciously describing Britain instead of Italy Superbly edited, translated and annotated by Linda B. Parshall, this richly illustrated edition of the Letters of a Dead Man is one of those books that bring an era to life Letters of a Dead Man, especially in this gorgeous edition, is a book you can happily live in for weeks." --Michael Dirda Washington Post (05/04/2016)

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