Author(s): Iris Origo
Bring her up somewhere where she does not belong...I'd like her to be a little 'foreign' Iris Origo was born in 1902 and spent her youth in the ancestral estate on Long Island and in her grandfather's castle in Ireland. Her father died tragically when she was eight, and she continued her peripatetic life with her indefatigable mother and beloved governess. A woman who always knew her mind, in 1923 Origo bought La Foce, an entire valley, almost feudal in organisation, in the Val d'Orcia of Tuscany. There for fifty years she worked tirelessly with her husband, improving the land and the lot of the peasants, saving endangered children from the brutal incursions of the Nazis, and writing history and memoirs that are still considered classics of the genre. She was at once a woman of action and introspection, of boundless curiosity and endearing innocence. She wrote beautifully, thoughtfully, and lucidly, especially when she turned the lens on herself and her own life.
Elegant and intelligent Spectator A wonderful writer... Images and Shadows is as delicious and tear-inducing as Downton Abbey New York Times An elegiac autobiography... illuminating Telegraph Self-effacing and cultivated... gently percipient Kirkus Reviews A true cosmopolite of vast energy and stunning intelligence New York Times A masterly biographer here recounts her own story, and in this biography she is at her best -- Raymond Mortimer
Iris Origo (1902-1988) was a British-born biographer and writer. She lived in Italy and devoted much of her life to the improvement of the Tuscan estate at La Foce, which she purchased with her husband in the 1920s. During WWII, she sheltered refugee children and assisted many escaped Allied prisoners of war and partisans in defiance of Italy's fascist regime and Nazi occupation forces. Pushkin Press also publishes her war diaries, War in Val D'Orcia, as well as two of her biographies, Leopardi: A Study in Solitude and The Last Attachment: The Story of Byron and Teresa Guccioli.