IMAGES AND SHADOWS by Iris Origo

IMAGES AND SHADOWS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Marchesa Origo has written a self-effacing and cultivated, rarely intimate but gently percipient retrospective of the close to seventy years of her life -- here in America as a girl, also summers in Ireland with her grandfather Lord Desart, and mostly in Italy where her mother bought a villa in Tuscany and where she eventually settled on her marriage to Antonio Origo (magnificence is muted but everywhere in the accompanying photographs). The title suggests the modulated character of her writing which owes something to her early childhood, serene with starched white Sunday frocks and sweetpeas in a very ordered existence. She discusses at some length the biographies she began to write when she was in her thirties of Leopardi and the Merchant of Prato and Byron, adding that now she would have chosen subjects closer to the context of the modern world. Indeed she wonders whether her own story will find an audience since for many it is indeed removed from common experience; less so the war years or the loss of their only son. There should be some admirers since the memoir is so tastefully appointed and honestly felt.

Pub Date: April 28th, 1971
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich