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They Went to Portugal
  • ISBN: 9781914198397
  • Pages: 664
  • Publisher: Daunt Books
  • Binding: Paperback

They Went to Portugal

A Travellers’ Portrait

Rose Macaulay

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From the author of the beloved novel The Towers of Trebizond, They Went to Portugal is part travelogue, part history and wholly personal.

Henry Fielding sailed to Portugal with his household in search of a cure for dropsy, jaundice and asthma. The rather more alluring promise of orange-scented and wine-soaked afternoons was what drew fellow novelist William Beckford to its shores. Byron, meanwhile, was sent into a black rage when the locals failed to greet his arrival with the level of fanfare he expected.

Novelist Rose Macaulay first travelled to Lisbon in 1943 to escape the misery of London and loss of her bombed flat. Turning to letters, diaries and travelogues, she brings together the voices of some of the many British travellers in whose footsteps she now trod. They Went to Portugal rambles down the centuries, bringing us the voices and experiences of a fascinating cast of characters: from pirate crusaders to ambassadors, from clergymen of all denominations to the port-wine trading pioneers, from aesthetes to the Romantics.

Rich in detail, ambitions in scope, the people who fill these pages are animated by Macaulay’s humour and astute eye.

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