Classic account of an idyllic childhood in Italy, under the shadow of approaching war.
Kinta Beevor was born in 1911 at Northbourne in East Kent. After her father joined up in the First World War, her mother, Lina Waterfield, took Kinta and her brother out to Florence, where she started the British Institute. Kinta's childhood was spent at Poggio Gherardo and at her parents' castle in Aulla. She returned to England, married and had three sons, one of whom is the historian Antony Beevor. She lived at Eastry, close to where she was born, but she still returned to Italy each year. Kinta Beevor died in August 1995.
Its unpretentiousness and authenticity, and above all the sincreity of the writer's affection for an Italy now long lost, make it an attractive and engaging read - SPECTATORKinta Beevor's distinctive contribution is in her detailed and unsentimental account of the peasant life of the time, its surrounding, its labours and its joys, and in her ability to convey the remembered happiness of a childhood spent in the freedom of two exceptionally beautiful houses amid some of the most delectable countryside in the world - THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENTA delightful corrective to the sickly Chiantishire school of writing. The descriptions of the harvesting and preparation of food and wine by the locals could not be bettered and the pages are alive with vivid characters, from stonemasons and farm workers to foreign bohemians ... a joy - OBSERVERA loving and intimate portrait of Tuscany's many faces; but it is in her feeling for the landscape that Beevor excels. One can hear the buzzing of the cicadas, smell the wild thyme and feel the crunching of pine needles underfoot - SUNDAY TIMESA beautifully written book - SUNDAY TIMESA delightful memoir - MARIE CLAIRE