Penguin Little Black Classic No.71: Il Duro

Il Duro


I really enjoyed these four personal accounts of Lawrence’s sun-drenched experiences in early 20th Century Italy. Once again, the Penguin Little Black Classics format offering the perfect “in” for an author I had never really got round to reading.

Three of the stories – The Spinner and The Monks, Il Duro and John – are taken from Twilight in Italy, which was first published in 1916. The last story,The Florence Museum, is taken from Etruscan Places, which was first published sixteen years later.

The Spinner and The Monks stood out most for me. I adored his description of the old woman as she sat at her wheel in the sun. “Her face was like a sun-worn stone,” and “pieces of hair, like dirty snow, quite short, stuck out over her ears.”

I’m fond of Italy and his writing appealed to me so I would definitely seek to read more of experiences of the country.


 Notes on the author – D.H Lawrence:

  • Born 1885 Eastwood, England. Died 1930 Vence, France
  • The D.H stands for David Herbert
  • Best known works : Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Sons and Lovers and Women In Love

On the booze with F. Scott Fitzgerald


This very short and charming book would make the ideal gift for the intellectual party animal among your friends.

This is an elegantly presented collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best writing about booze. It sums up the author and the Jazz Age in which he lived – and drank!

“First you take a drink, ” he once noted “then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” This kind of line is typical of what can be found here.

Fitzgerald wrote alcohol into almost everything he produced. This collection draws mainly from The Crack Up as well as from other letters and works. Continue reading