Synopses & Reviews
The sparkling memoir of an idyllic, bohemian childhood in an enchanted Tuscan castle between the wars.
When Kinta Beeevor was five, her father, the painter Aubrey Waterfield, bought the sixteenth-century Fortezza della Brunella in the Tuscan village of Aulla. There her parents were part of a vibrant artistic community that included Aldous Huxley, Bernard Berenson, and D. H. Lawrence. Meanwhile, Kinta and her brother explored the glorious countryside, participated in the region's many seasonal rites and rituals, and came to know and love the charming, resilient Italian people. With the coming of World War II the family had to leave Aulla; years later, though, Kinta would return to witness the courage and skill of the Tuscan people as they rebuilt their lives. Lyrical and witty, A Tuscan Childhood is alive with the timeless splendour of Italy.
"Mrs. Beevor grew up in Tuscany running naked in a sunlit 'garden in the sky' on the roof of her English expatriate parents' 15th-century fortress. Her story is redolent of basil leaves on slices of fresh tomato, grape harvests, and olive trees in the summer breeze. There are cameo appearances by Aldous Huxley, Bernard Berenson, Queen Sophie of Greece, and Mussolini. This welcome American edition of Mrs. Beevor's only book (published when she was 82) makes one wish she had started reflecting and writing about Italy much sooner—although apparently she was too busy living a full and happy life." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"Packed with sumptuous descriptions of seasons and their rites....A portrait of a vanished Tuscany and a tantalizing glimpse of exceptional people who loved Italy very well." Elle
"A loving and intimate portrait of Tuscany's many faces....One can hear the buzzing of the cicadas, smell the wild thyme, and feel the crunching of pine needles underfoot....A beautifully written book." The Sunday Times (London)
"Captivating sharp-eyed, intelligent and abundant in its riches." Los Angeles Times
"Wonderful...I fell immediately into her world, and was sorry when I reached the end." Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun
The sparkling memoir of an idyllic, bohemian childhood in an enchanted Tuscan castle between the world wars. 63 illustrations throughout.
About the Author
Kinta Beevor was born in 1911 in Northbourne, England, and died in 1995.