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As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969)

de Laurie Lee

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

Séries: Laurie Lee's Autobiographies (2)

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1,2503315,873 (3.97)119
The author of Cider with Rosie continues his bestselling autobiographical trilogy with "a wondrous adventure" through Spain on the eve of its civil war (Library Journal). On a bright Sunday morning in June 1934, Laurie Lee left the village home so lovingly portrayed in his bestselling memoir, Cider with Rosie. His plan was to walk the hundred miles from Slad to London, with a detour of an extra hundred miles to see the sea for the first time. He was nineteen years old and brought with him only what he could carry on his back: a tent, a change of clothes, his violin, a tin of biscuits, and some cheese. He spent the first night in a ditch, wide awake and soaking wet. From those unlikely beginnings, Laurie Lee fashioned not just the adventure of a lifetime, but one of the finest travel narratives of the twentieth century. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, written more than thirty years after the events it describes, is an elegant and irresistibly charming portrait of life on the road--first in England, where the familiar landscapes and people somehow made Lee feel far from home, and then in Spain, whose utter foreignness afforded a new kind of comfort. In that brief period of peace, a young man was free to go wherever he wanted to in Europe. Lee picked Spain because he knew enough Spanish to ask for a glass of water. What he did not know, and what would become clear only after a year spent tramping across the beautiful and rugged countryside--from the Galician port city of Vigo, over the Sierra de Guadarrama and into Madrid, and along the Costa del Sol--was that the Spanish Republic would soon need idealistic young men like Lee as badly as he needed it.… (mais)
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Inglês (31)  Italiano (1)  Francês (1)  Todos os idiomas (33)
Mostrando 1-5 de 33 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Great
  Dermot_Butler | Nov 8, 2023 |
Great
  Dermot_Butler | Nov 8, 2023 |
Great
  Dermot_Butler | Nov 8, 2023 |
“I felt it was for this I had come: to wake at dawn on a hillside and look out on a world for which I had no words, to start at the beginning, speechless and without plan, in a place that still had no memories for me.”

Not as well known as 'Cider With Rosie' this book is the second in Laurie Lee's autobiographical trilogy. Its 1934 and without of a job 19-year-old Lee leaves his Gloucestershire hometown to tramp to London. In the capital he works for a year as a labourer on a building site but when that job nears completion he sets his sights on Europe: “a place of casual frontiers, few questions and almost no travellers”. He chose Spain because he knew a single Spanish phrase “‘will you please give me a glass of water?’” and so begins probably the best travelogue I've ever read.

Initially Lee lands on Spanish soil in Vigo from where he walks and busks east to Valladolid, south to Cadiz via Madrid and Seville, before turning left along the Andalusian coast to eventually arrive at Castillo. Along the way the reader are shown aspects of Spain that they would rather not see on a package holiday: bedbugs, blisters, wolves and fearful heat — “the brass-taloned lion which licks the afternoon ground ready to consume anyone not wise enough to take cover”, alongside things that you would want to experience: bright-whitewashed towns and the pine-cool foothills of the Sierras where he “slipped off the heat like a sweat-soaked shirt”. Along the way he meets bootblacks, peasants, innkeepers, drovers, priests, soldiers, fellow buskers, limbless beggars and of course a variety of women. Lee arrives as a callow and naïve 20-year-old but gradually comes to realise that the country is on the brink of Civil War and on account the writing slowly grows darker as the story progresses.

What raises this above the level of an ordinary travelogue is Lee's unique and deceptively simple yet poetic language, virtually every other page seemed to contain a beautiful turn of phrase: “Stepping in from the torrid street, you met a band of cool air like fruit-peel pressed to your brow.” But it would also only fair to remember that this book wasn’t published until 1969 so some 30+ years after the actual events took place. No doubt some of the conversations and events are re-imagined recollections and there is also an element of rose-tinted glasses about it. All the same its a beautiful piece of writing that although dated shouts out to be read. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Mar 8, 2023 |
How about if you could just walk away from your little house in the countryside of England, and go walking across England to London, making money to pay for crappy food and a bed full of bugs by playing your violin in the streets? You could cross the English channel on a boat that just cost a couple of bucks to get on, walk all around the coast of France towards the Atlantic, stopping in little villages and finding inns to stay at, still supporting yourself by playing the violin. Keep going and sooner or later you were in Spain, eventually ending up on the Costa del Sol, before it was named that.

You couldn't do that, if you were born female like me, or even if you were a male, in this time, 80 years later. Because if you look at the Costa del Sol on Google maps, you'll see that the area that used to be impoverished little fishing villages strung far apart on the southern coast, is now one unending sprawl of resorts, for the wealthy. Makes me wonder what this part of the world, and the East side of San Jose will look like in 80 more years? Melted slag, empty of all life perhaps?

This book was a beautiful read. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
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Laurie Leeautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Macfarlane, RobertIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rosoman, LeonardIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The stooping figure of my mother, waist-deep in the grass and caught there like a piece of sheep's wool, was the last I saw of my country home as I left it to discover the world.
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The author of Cider with Rosie continues his bestselling autobiographical trilogy with "a wondrous adventure" through Spain on the eve of its civil war (Library Journal). On a bright Sunday morning in June 1934, Laurie Lee left the village home so lovingly portrayed in his bestselling memoir, Cider with Rosie. His plan was to walk the hundred miles from Slad to London, with a detour of an extra hundred miles to see the sea for the first time. He was nineteen years old and brought with him only what he could carry on his back: a tent, a change of clothes, his violin, a tin of biscuits, and some cheese. He spent the first night in a ditch, wide awake and soaking wet. From those unlikely beginnings, Laurie Lee fashioned not just the adventure of a lifetime, but one of the finest travel narratives of the twentieth century. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, written more than thirty years after the events it describes, is an elegant and irresistibly charming portrait of life on the road--first in England, where the familiar landscapes and people somehow made Lee feel far from home, and then in Spain, whose utter foreignness afforded a new kind of comfort. In that brief period of peace, a young man was free to go wherever he wanted to in Europe. Lee picked Spain because he knew enough Spanish to ask for a glass of water. What he did not know, and what would become clear only after a year spent tramping across the beautiful and rugged countryside--from the Galician port city of Vigo, over the Sierra de Guadarrama and into Madrid, and along the Costa del Sol--was that the Spanish Republic would soon need idealistic young men like Lee as badly as he needed it.

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