Pictures from Italy

Pictures from Italy

Written by:
Charles Dickens
Narrated by:
Simon Hester
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
March 2023
8 hours 54 minutes
Who better to travel to Italy with than Charles Dickens? From the travails of 19th century travel to the wonder of discovering the great art of western civilization, all are brought to life with the characteristic humour, wryness, sentimentality, fervour and love that are poured into the best of the author’s fiction.

Modern readers will recognise many of Italy’s historical treasures that millions have enjoyed since Dickens described them over 150 years ago; in that sense surprisingly, little has changed.

What might be more interesting to us today are the nature and mechanics of tourism in 1846. So used are we to the relative comfort and speed of global transport that we forget the discomforts (and at times horrors) undertaken by those few that would endeavour to see the world in previous centuries. By comparison we journey at our leisure whereas Dickens’ journal is more the record of a pilgrim and pioneer.

Far be it from him however to dwell on the rigours of Victorian tourism, indeed he saves his pithiest wit for such times and is much more interested, as he always is, in the humanity of all he encounters.

His vibrant and colourful description of the Roman Festival is as joyful as his reserved observation of an execution is sombre and reserved. Dickens is not enamoured of all he experiences and is quick to let us know when he suspects sham commercialism, hypocrisy or injustice.
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