A literary antholog of over 80 visitors to Germany... ?By following over eighty North American and British literary travellers, starting in the sixteenth century with some of the earliest travel accounts in English, Brian Melican presents a wide range of writing about, or set in, Germany. Letters from Boswell and Garrick, Coleridge and Wordsworth; the journals of Herman Melville and Henry James; fiction by D. H. Lawrence and Ford Madox Ford reveal an oft-forgotten richness in encounters with Germany before the horrors of the twentieth century. Post-war writing ranges from the spy fiction of Len Deighton, to travel writing by Leigh Fermor, and the writers who dissected post-Nazi Germany. The diversity of writing about Germany today encompasses light-hearted accounts and more searching passages taken from an eclectic selection of authors. Recorded and imagined images of Germany have changed dramatically across the centuries. Yet views on many of its features especially its cities and rivers, customs and cuisine have often remained constant. This anthology invites readers to venture beyond the usual discussion about this country at the very heart of Europe.
"What a delight to find this unusual approach to armchair travel in Germany. Melican (a translator, journalist, and author who has lived in Germany for six years) demonstrates a broad knowledge of German literature, history, geography, and language in this anthology of descriptions of travel to the country from 1589 until the present. Excerpts from diaries, letters, memoirs, and novels by British and American writers are surprisingly immediate in their ability to capture, for example, the experience of travel down the Rhine River (Stephen Spender) or sojourns in Berlin (George Eliot) or Hamburg (Bill Bryson). Fortunately, a brief introduction to each writer precedes every entry, since some are by authors who are not well known to the English reading public. The variety in the 77 entries demonstrates the abundance of interests (food, art, cathedrals, landscapes, the Germans) writers bring to their experience in visiting the country. VERDICT Seasoned travelers to Germany as well as those taking their first trip there will find this a useful introduction to the country over the last 400 years. The diverse traveler reactions to their adventures will inspire most readers to take a trip there and formulate their own opinions."