The Romance of the
Med. Part 1
Here are a few of my favourite photos, capturing
some great moments over the time we have been coming to stay in
Lemnos. These pictures convey something of the beauty of the island,
and the enjoyment we and our family and friends have experienced here.
Writers try to capture what it is that intrigues them about the
Mediterranean. They do it with
pictures, words, recipes, histories, and travelogues. I expect we all have some
of their books on our shelves. Below are a few books and novels from my
library. You may have read or seen some of these, and there are many more.
There is no denying that the Med’ is a drawer card for explorers, tourists, cooks, tavern keepers, academics, journalists, historians, house hunters, escapists. But, there is one common denominator, they are romantics all!Explorers, Cooks, Tavern keepers, Academics, Journalists, Historians, House hunters, Escapists, but Romantics All!
Bouras Gillian. A Foreign Wife (Penguin Books Australia Ltd.,1990). This well-known Australian writer tells of her difficulties accepted as a new wife in a Greek family and in a small village community. She has also written A Stranger Here (Penguin Books Australia, 1996). This book is a novel that looks at the lives of three women and studies their feelings of displacement living inClift Charmain, Mermaid Singing (
Australia and . Greece
David Elizabeth. A Book of Mediterranean Food This is an old Penguin Handbook and one of the first of hers I read, and I almost devoured all of her books I could find. Her recipe books are a delight to read. With these books she introduced the English to Mediterranean food just after the war.
De Vries Susanna. Blue Ribbons and Bitter Bread: The Life of Joice Nankivell
Loch (Pandanus Press, 2000). The book tells the life
of an Australian woman who, after an adventurous upbringing in Australia, spent her life helping refugees in Europe. She eventually settled in Greece on the Halkitheki
Peninsula near Mount
Athos. Here she helped villagers find work by reviving their old
carpet-making skills. She was decorated by the Greek Government for her work
Doody Margaret. Aristotle Dectective: The Secrets of Life (Arrow Books, 2004). This is the third of the Aristotle Detective series, the first two are Aristotle Detective, and Aristotle and Poetic Justice. The authors knowledge of ancientDrinkwater, Carol. The
is amazingly detailed and visual. Though the cast of ‘thousands’, all with
Greek names is daunting, especially for a non-Greek. Greece
Durrell Gerald. My Family and Other Animals (Penguin Books 2004), and Laurence Durrell, Bitter Lemons (Axios Press, 2009). These books are filled with the joy and pleasures of expats living in vibrant Greek communities, the first is about Corfu, the second about living inFortescue Lady., Perfume from Provence (Black Swan 1920) was written in the early 1930s. In it she talks about moving to live in a village in
Gage Eleni. North of Ithaka (Bantam Press, 2004). Eleni is the daughter of Nicholas Gage who wrote a book called Eleni about his mother. This book was later made into a film and it told of her imprisonment and execution during the Greek Civil War. Eleni, the grandaughter, goes back to rebuild the family house. This is the book that most echoes our building adventures while also drawing on references to the family’s past.
Greene Jeffery. French Spirits:A House, a Village, and a Love Affair inHislop Victoria., The Thread (Headline Publishing Group, 2011). This novel tells the story of a family living in Thessolinki. It is based largely on Mark Mazower’s book, however the novel involves a family with multi-racial connections telling their story, and that of Saloniki, from 1917 to 2007.
(Harper Perennial, 2003) Greene tells in lyrical prose the story of turning and
old presbytery into a home. He is an American poet and I find his account
charmingly sympathetic to the neighbourhood and house. Burgundy
Humphrey John and Christopher. Blue Skies and Black Olives (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., 2010). A tale of house building in
Kazantzakis Nikos., Zorba the Greek, translated by Carl Wildman (Faber and Faber Ltd.,1961). In some ways this book shocked me, but it did prepare me for what it might be like to live in a small very tightly organised Greek community.Klimi Julia, At Home in Greece (Thames and Hudson,) Julia Klimi gained access to thirty-five private homes and has captured the very Greek essence of each, though each is very different.
Miller Henry. The Colossus of Maroussi, (first published in 1941, republished in Penguin Books 1950). This book is an impressionistic account of Miller’s travels through
Mole John., Its All Greek to Me! (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2004). This book is about an English banker who came to
Perry Clay, Boleman-Herring and Fermor Patrick Leigh. Vanishing
(Conran Octopus, 1991). This is a photographic essay on Greece
introduced by Patrick Leigh Fermor who, like Clay Perry, had conducted a
passionate love affair with Greece over many
years. Elizabeth Boleman-Herring, another philhellene, has written the text.
All three are aware that by the end of the twentieth century the landscape and
the traditional way of life may have changed irrevocably.
Roland, Betty. Lesbos; TheSlesin, Suzanne,
(F. W. Cheshire Pty Ltd.,1963). In
1961 Roland spent a year on the Pagan Island .
This Australian author spent an interesting time on this island, one of the
closest islands to island
of Lesbos Lemnos. Lesbos houses the
municipality of the Northern Aegean, and so is more politically important than Lemnos
however there are close ties between these two island, and many Lemians marry
folk from Lesbos.
Stoeltie, Barbara and Rene. Living in
Stone Tom, The Summer of my Greek Taverna (Simon and Shuster, 2003). This is the story of an American who moved to
Zable, Arnold.Zinovieff Sofka.,
Sea of Many Returns (Text Publishing, Melbourne Australia, 2010)
In this book the author discusses the seagoing life of many who live on Ithaka.
He draws on his own experiences of returning to Ithaca
with his Greek wife over the years. Although this island is far from Lemnos,
and set in another sea, this story reveals how many Greeks journeyed past
Lemnos on their way to trade around the shores of the Black