Iris Origo: Marchesa of Val d'Orcia

by Caroline Moorehead | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 9781567922714 Global Overview for this book
Registered by winghaahaahaa98wing of Watertown, Massachusetts USA on 2/4/2024
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Journal Entry 1 by winghaahaahaa98wing from Watertown, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, February 4, 2024
Found in a thrift bookshop and reserved for a future bookbox.

Journal Entry 2 by winghaahaahaa98wing at LFL - Clark St. in Belmont, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, June 20, 2024

Released 3 wks ago (6/20/2024 UTC) at LFL - Clark St. in Belmont, Massachusetts USA

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Iris Origo: Marchesa of Val d'OrciaIris Origo: Marchesa of Val d'Orcia by Caroline Moorehead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What a riveting, engaging, and fascinating biography of a key figure in British-Italian history. Connected to what is now Villa I Tatti, a research center for Italian studies, here we learn about the role that Iris Origo played in the development of British-Italian society in the 20s and 30s, through her work with housing anti-Fascist partisans in the 40s, and later as a post-War writer especially of biographies.

The author captures much of the emotional resonance of Origo, particularly her earlier life, and also her role in taking care of a large agricultural estate (and eventually also housing anti-Fascist partisans, sometimes POWs, and especially orphaned children. Her relations with partners, her marriage with Antonio (a military man), and her relations with her mother and her children, are described in interpersonal and pragmatic detail.

I think the author had to balance a multitude of sources herself; while Origo's autobiography was well-received at time of publication, Moorehead needed to be (and in my estimation was successful at) providing a wide array of voices, particularly amongst those who knew her well.

For anyone interested in World War II history, in history of Fascist Italy, and in what it's like to be self-taught and to learn from experience, this biography is for you.



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