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Description - A Rose for Winter by Laurie Lee

Andalusia is a passion - and fifteen years after his last visit Laurie Lee returned. He found a country broken by the Civil War, but the totems of indestructible Spain survive: the Christ in agony, the thrilling flamenco cry-the pride in poverty, the gypsy intensity in vivid whitewashed slums, the cult of the bullfight, the exultation in death, the humour of hopelessness-the paradoxes deep in the fiery bones of Spain. Rich with kaleidoscopic images, A Rose for Winter is as sensual and evocative as the sun-scorched landscape of Andalusia itself.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099479710
ISBN-10: 0099479710
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 7mm)
Pages: 128
Imprint: Vintage Classics
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 31-Mar-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - A Rose for Winter by Laurie Lee

Book Reviews - A Rose for Winter by Laurie Lee

UK Kirkus Review » With his rich prose forever one of the most original contributions to 20th century English literature, Laurie Lee remains, however, best known for another rose: the village girl who 'baptized (him) with her cidrous kisses' in the slumbrous shade of a summer haystack. Cider With Rosie, his enchanting autobiographical account of growing up in a delightfully haphazard Gloucestershire family, has entranced generations of adults and children alike. Yet Lee's sensuous apprehension of the world about him extended equally to his travel writings, producing vivid portraits pulsating with his hallmark evocative imagery. It was on the eve of the Spanish Civil War that Lee first travelled to the Iberian Peninsula, later returning in its wake to re-discover a country damaged yet undaunted. Andalusia in particular, the subject of this short but intensely observed book, is possessed of an indomitable and original spirit forged by the marriage of a Moorish heritage with European Catholicism. As Lee sallies forth from the trim English streets of Gibraltar, guitar on his shoulder, no detail of the primitive Mediterranean scene escapes his eye. The people he meets, the fishermen, the beggars, the dark-veiled old women and the ever-present smugglers on whom the starved economy of southern Spain seemed at that time to subsist, are drawn with the inimitable perception of a writer for whom exploration of the intrinsic vibrance of language was fundamental to his vision. Laurie Lee died in 1997. In recent years his mellifluous style has experienced something of a fall in favour. Many deem it unfashionable today, which seems a pity. Because from the sun-baked plains of Seville to the Sierras and the magical city of Granada - 'like a rose preserved in snow' - here is delivered the tale of a landscape as eternally and seductively intoxicating as the luscious white wine the author then drank at - oh wonder! - just six old pennies a bottle. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Three enchanted months in Andalusia - and what unheard of "British tourists" the Lee's were. For Laurie Lee had spent a period of romantic youth wandering, with his violin, ready for adventure, penniless. He comes close to recapturing bits of that glamorous period, when from Algeciras to Seville, to Ecija, to Granada, to a small nameless fishing village- where once too he had lived- and back to Algeciras- he takes his lovely wife. Troubadours in spirit - enough so to be welcomed by the simple people, to be taken to their hearts, to be allowed to share their pleasures. The time was winter- feast days and holidays and holy days of the Christmas season gave them intimate glimpses of half pagan celebrations. Bull rings tempted them in every hamlet - and some of the best writing describes the bull fights. The feel of each place is here - but in no sense is this a travel book. Seville- and nothing of the Alcazar and the fabled gardens; Granada - and the Generalife gardens only in casual mention; nothing of history- just the aura of a past. But the charm and the magic of Spain is here, and other books will supply what this one has no need to do. Two wanderers have a dream holiday and share it in their book. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Laurie Lee

Laurie Lee was born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1914, and was educated at Slad village school and Stroud Central School. At the age on nineteen he walked to London and then travelled on foot through Spain, where he was trapped by the outbreak of the Civil War. He later returned by crossing the Pyrenees, as described in his book As I Walked Out one Midsummer Morning. In 1950 he married Catherine Polge and they had one daughter. Laurie Lee died in May 1997. In its obituary the Guardian wrote, 'He has a nightingale inside him, a capacity for sensuous, lyrical precisions'.

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