|We took the train north from Florence to Genoa where we are tonight.|
Along the mediterranean coast. The train was practically on the beach.
Since we are on trains a lot I decided to listen to some audio books. Much of the scenery is gorgeous and I have been busy observing the sights and taking photos. But some stretches look the same and it can get tedious especially on the days when we might be on a train for several hours.
The first book I completed today was Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë. I decided if I am going to listen to audio books I will explore some of the classic authors as I know I will get into the stories and others can read to me. I got this free copy from Libravox which has free audio books read by volunteers. As they are free one is not certain of the narrators and in this edition I listened to 5 or 6 separate narrators. Most were young women with an appropriate voice for a book written in the first person about a 20 year old woman. However one voice was elderly and one was Indian which was quite amusing. Her pronunciation of English vocabulary was much different than what I am used to.
I can go into the story here but I would rather put fun little pictures up of bookish things I have encountered on this trip through Austria (Vienna, Salzburg) and now Italy. I found some interesting information about the plot and details of the publication of this work which I found quite interesting. If you like you can read it you can here on Wikipedia. Quite interesting.
Thoughts of the book: I have never been one for English period novels. I never understood what the fuss was about. However having heard so many bloggers sing praises of the Brontë sisters and Jane Austen I thought I should see what I am missing. I must admit they are not my most favourite novels. I find the plots all the same and in Agnes there was so much information about religion. Not being a religious person I get bogged down with all of this.
However I really liked the character of Agnes. I liked the values she represented. I enjoyed learning about how difficult it was to be a governess, given the care of children but yet no control over them. The children in this book really were monsters. Her first household of which she was employed as a governess made me want to strangle the little boy she cared for. However in writing about his character she was able to get the message of treating animals kindly and not cruelly. Animal welfare has come a long way since the mid 1800's and she was probably a pioneer in writing about it then.
The difficulties of her station in life as a governess was interesting too and although some people were kind to her others treated her as though she were invisible.
The second job she procured being a governess to two young women, Rosalie a flirtatious silly thing and Melanie who was rough around the edges and refused to behave like a proper lady were entertaining. It was interesting how the young women approached their life with nothing substantial to really give them direction and the mistakes they made.
I will read more of Anne Brontë's books and I have seen the films. I think there is a knack to enjoying these books and I find I do quite enjoy them. This was Anne's first book and according to Wikipedia it was attached to Wuthering Heights as Wuthering Heights was 2/3 of a novel with Agnes Grey making up the last 1/3 attached to the end as both were published in the same year. I thought that was interesting. I enjoyed reading about the author and the publishing history as much as I enjoyed listening to the books. However I think it is time to sign up for Audible.com and pay a little bit for getting proper readers of these audio books.
Okay now enjoy the quirky photos of book information I found on my travels.
|The complete library in our hotel in Vienna. All books in German except on crime book.|
People must be too busy sight seeing than reading.
|These little mice reading their books were for sale at a market stall. They were gorgeous.|
However I am thinking too hard of downsizing our property not bringing home more stuff.
|Books about art at the large museum in Vienna.|
|The classics for sale in a bookshop in Verona, Italy. I could still enjoy the covers.|
|The cemetery in Verona, Italy where Elizabeth Barrett Browning is buried. She spent her|
last years in Italy.
|The Penguin is loving how dog friendly Austria and Italy are.|
On our way to Barcelona in the next few days.