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Siren Land: A Celebration of Life in Southern Italy
Norman Douglas’s first travel book, Siren Land is an homage to a part of the world that captivated the author more than any other. Weaving the myths of the Sirens into the landscape and history of the region, Douglas writes with knowledge and an irrepressible exuberance of the past and the present, of legends and archaeology, folklore and daily life, patron saints, local g ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Tauris Parke Paperbacks
(first published 1911)
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Douglas is considered by some as the father of modern travel writing. This book ranges over such a wide variety of topics as the mythical sirens, the Emperor Tiberius, local food and wines, the Blue Grotto, ruins and archaeology, religions and superstitions, the Capriot mystic Sister Serafina, the landscape, legends, the weather and climate, and the general stupidity, sordidness, and dishonesty of the locals. His tone is often condescending and contemptuous, so I enjoyed it a great deal.
The sort ...more
The sort ...more
Published in 1911, Norman Douglas writes as if chatting with you one on one in a relaxed but erudite manner , tossing in side tidbits including facts, tales of lore as well as first hand experiences. The writing in general regards the Sorrento Pennisula of Italy as well as Capri Island and some other proximal islands. Discussions of the Sirens (from whence Sorrento takes it name) , including their origin are told as well as Fauns and Man-Wolves …a lot of legend and superstition seems to abound i ...more
Norman Douglas was born in Thüringen, Austria (his surname was registered at birth as Douglass). His mother was Vanda von Poellnitz. His father was John Sholto Douglas (1845-1874), manager of a cotton mill, who died when Norman was about six. Norman was brought up mainly at Tilquhillie, Deeside, his paternal home. He was educated at Uppingham School England, and then at a grammar school in Karlsru ...moreMore about Norman Douglas...