Blue Skies, Brown Studies
Cover Photograph by John Ross - FPG
William Sansom is one who not only travels hopefully, but also arrives at something rich adn strange, rare, funny, poignant or bizarre, always rewarding.
He has the eye of wonder, the tongue of a delightful talker, the palate of an epicure in human sensations. These travel sketches take us from Capri to St. Tropez, from Vienna to Vicenza, from the Edwardian ambience of Baden Baden to a Norwedian fjord, from the siesta-hour in Spain to the sucrry and inexhaustible oddities of London.
There is an anecdote about a hotel in Salzburg which vanished; and there is an account of a meal in a famous restaurant near Nice, which will appeal to the most blase gourmet. In the last of these sixteen enchanting sketches, Mr Sansom tells us about Mhailand - an undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller, if he could find it, would wish to return.
I hope that many people will read this book, not merely because it is informative and amusing, but also because it is written with such skill and care that we bless the tradition of English letters for being so sinuous and so variable. Mr Sansom is certainly a master of style.
Mr Sansom...has succeeded in transmitting his feeling of wonder at the places in Europe (mostly desirable) he has known and liked. His sensitive eye and fluent, precise, evocative pen have ranged from Capri to the Norwegian fjords.