Rome and a Villa

(Nonfiction; Steerforth Press, 2000)


In 1947, five years before she was to marry Robert Penn Warren, the young American writer Eleanor Clark traveled to Rome on a Guggenheim Fellowship, and for the next four years she worked on a series of essays about the city that were gathered in the 1952 collection Rome and a Villa. Rereleased in a gorgeous edition by Steerforth Press, the book stands out for its rhapsody of description across every conceivable line of inquiry or imagination: Clark holds forth on the city’s history, mythology, theology, geology, literature, architecture, horticulture, cuisine, criminology, and even sexuality.

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