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Iris Origo: Marchesa of Val D'Orciaby Caroline Moorehead
Synopses & Reviews
Iris Origo was one of those rare characters that, despite being born with a platinum spoon in her mouth, went on to accomplish great things. In Origo?s case, she managed to add light and color to everything she touched and left for posterity a legacy of work, biography, autobiography, and literary criticism that have become recognized as classics of their kind.
Caroline Moorehead has made extensive use of unpublished letters, diaries, and papers to write what will surely be considered the definitive biography of this remarkable woman. She has limned a figure that was brave, industrious, and fiercely independent, but hardly saintly. What emerges is a portrait of one of the more intriguing, attractive, and intelligent woman of the last century.
"Moorehead has exquisitely captured the energy and the essence of an aristocrat resolutely committed to her land, her craft, and her nontraditional lifestyle. A magnificent biography, so absorbing and so full of fascinating characters and descriptive details that it reads like fiction." Margaret Flanagan, Booklist (starred review)
"A fascinating portrait, and one that matches the high standards of its subject....An admirably perceptive, well-written, and entertaining biography." The Spectator
"Moorehead ultimately fails to make the reader care about her subject....[T]he reader may depart with the sense of having visited Italy and the forgotten worlds of the idle rich and interwar intelligentsia, but not necessarily of having been permitted a dance with the remarkable marchesa herself." Publishers Weekly
"Moorehead's presentation is succinct and informative....Moorehead provides copious and interesting details on the publishing, editing and reviewing of... Origo's...books. But unfortunately she fails to bring them to life....The same dryness applies to Moorehead's depiction of people and workmanlike detailing of love affairs....Moorehead supplies, diligently, the details of the life of this enchanting person....[W]e glimpse a spectacular human being." Nicholas Fox Weber, The New York Times Book Review
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