By Peter Ackroyd
During this luxurious imaginative and prescient of Venice, Peter Ackroyd turns his unheard of ability for evoking a feeling of position from London and the River Thames to Venice, town of fable, secret and wonder, set like a jewel in its glistening lagoon.
Ackroyd’s Venice is right away romantic and filled with aspect, conjuring up the ambience of the canals, bridges and sunlit squares, the church buildings and the markets, the fiestas and the vegetation. He leads us throughout the attention-grabbing, story-filled background of town, from the 1st refugees arriving within the mists of the lagoon within the fourth century, to the increase of a superb mercantile kingdom and buying and selling empire, the wars opposed to Napoleon and the vacationer invasions of today.
Everything is the following: the retailers at the Rialto and the Jews within the ghetto; the mosaics of St. Marks’ and the glass blowers of Murano; the carnival mask and the unhappy colonies of lepers; the doges and the destitute. and naturally, the artists — Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, with their ardour for color and shape. There are wars and sieges, scandals and seductions, fountains enjoying in abandoned squares and crowds thronging the markets. and there's a darkish undertone too, of shadowy corners and useless ends, prisons and punishment.
We may have no higher consultant to Venice than Peter Ackroyd whose e-book is, itself, an excellent trip and the right vacation.