Venetian Life


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One night at the little theatre in Padua, the ticket-seller gave us the stage-box (of which he made a great merit), and so we saw the play and the byplay. The prompter, as noted from our point of view, bore a chief part in the drama (as indeed the prompter always does in the Italian theatre), and the scene-shifters appeared as prominent characters. We could not help seeing the virtuous wife, when hotly pursued by the villain of the piece, pause calmly in the wings, before rushing, all tears and despera-tion, upon the stage; ...

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Sep 16, 2008

guide to a lost city

The Venice so extensively and lovingly described by Howells of course no longer exists - hordes of tourists (and their money) have made sure of that. Which makes this genial, involving book all the more enjoyable - Howells could be a bit of a stuffed shirt at times, but in his travel writing, and especially in this volume, he's a wonderful guide and companion and even, in his slightly plodding way, a good raconteur! Most editions of this book come with line-sketches, but you won't need them - Howells' perennially-underestimated literary ability is on full display and paints even better illustrations with his words. A perfect book for any lover of Venice.

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