TWILIGHT IN ITALY is a small book of travel essays, worth reading both for their own sake and for the light they throw on the context of Lawrence’s work.
D. H. Lawrence was a prolific and versatile writer whose plays, poems, novels, novellas, and short stories—more than forty volumes produced in a writing life of twenty years—often need to be read in the context of his essays, pamphlets, and travel books. There are four of these last, excluding the passages of description in his letters recording his expatriation in Europe, America, and Australia. The first of these journeys is recorded in his first travel book, TWILIGHT IN ITALY.
Both journey and book came at an important time in his life. Thereafter the gift for natural description and for the “felt” characterization which distinguishes his fiction was so broadly used as to make him geographically the most universal English writer of this century.
In August, 1912, Lawrence and Frieda, then Mrs. Ernest Weekley, walked south from Icking, near Munich, to Riva on Lago di Garda, which was then in Austrian territory, and later, in September, to the Italian Gargnano, farther down the lake. They stayed there till April 1913, while Lawrence worked at his writing as he had not previously been able to do. There he completed the final draft of SONS AND LOVERS, wrote the German stories, collected in THE PRUSSIAN OFFICER, and began the poems...
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