THE CITY THAT SHONE by Vivian de Sola Pinto


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Traces of a ruddy-faced Edwardian optimism and a turn of the century, romantic stance linger through these mellow reminiscences of a British author's early life from 1895-1922. Childhood memories -- ""in a rosy cloud of love and solicitude;"" schooldays and the first year at Oxford are set forth with affection. However, the war years, in which as a junior officer Mr. Pinto served at Gallipoli, France and Belgium, comprise the major portion of the book. Mr. Pinto's war was not in any sense loverly but there were memories of easy comradeship and a fillip of two of glory. (""Shall I,"" he opportunes a general at the close of the war, ""push on to take Brussels?""). This was an army of officers and Other Ranks, of primitive communications and transport, where a message could come from G.H.Q. in the midst of a bombardment requesting orders for divisional Christmas cards. Highpoint, between ""blightys,"" sightseeing and miseries, was service under Siegfried Sassoon whose hatred of war did not weaken his soldierly performance. The author recalls his postwar associations -- the Sitwells and others in Lady Ottoline Morrell's circle, teachers and aspiring poets, Concluding with a chivalrous tribute to Mrs. Pinto, this is pleasant attar from a vanished society which should be irresistible to nostalgic, Anglophilic elders.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1969
Publisher: John Day