The Story of San Michele
by Axel Munthe
Editor: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
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This dream-laden and frightened’ (Marina Warner, London Review of Books) history of is for many people one of the most loved books of the twentieth century.Munthe spent many years working as a doctor in southern Italy, working tirelessly during typhoid, cholera and catastrophic earthquakes.It was during this period that he came through the ruin of Tiberium villa San Michele, perched above the sparkling waters of the Bay of Naples in Capri.With the help of Mastro Nicola and his three sons, and with only a rough charcoal sketch drawn on the wall of a garden to guide them, Munthe dedicated to the reconstruction of the house and the chapel.More than five long summers, they have labored under a sky blue sapphire, their cape-head project leading to buried skeletons and ancient coins, and the hilarious encounter with a rich palette of brightly drawn villagers.The history of San Michele resonates with the bewitching buzz of a long, hot Italian summer.It is as pleasant and readable today as it was in the first publication, with unforgettable characters.The book has quickly become an international best-seller and has been translated into more than 30 languages; it is now established as a classic, and the number of sales in the millions has grown steadily.
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