In 1844, Dickens Traveled To Italy With His Family And Shared His Experiences With The Readers. Download The Pictures From Italy, READ online FREE or buy:
- THE READER’S PASSPORT
- Chapter 1. GOING THROUGH FRANCE
- Chapter 2. LYONS, THE RHONE, AND THE GOBLIN OF AVIGNON
- Chapter 3. AVIGNON TO GENOA
- Chapter 4. GENOA AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD
- Chapter 5. TO PARMA, MODENA, AND BOLOGNA
- Chapter 6. THROUGH BOLOGNA AND FERRARA
- Chapter 7. AN ITALIAN DREAM
- Chapter 8. BY VERONA, MANTUA, AND MILAN, ACROSS THE PASS OF THE SIMPLON INTO SWITZERLAND
- Chapter 9. TO ROME BY PISA AND SIENA
- Chapter 10. ROME
- Chapter 11. A RAPID DIORAMA
Not a lot of people know that Charles Dickens, one of the finest writers of the XIX century, was a big fan of traveling. That’s right – he wrote several travelogues to describe his experiences in certain countries that he’s been to. Pictures From Italy saw the light of day in 1846 – that’s when Dickens published the book.
But he embarked on the exciting journey two years ago and had enough time both for sightseeing and for some “quality reporting”. Dickens was tired of working on his novels and stories and wanted a break from his crazy schedule. Eventually, he took a couple of months off and traveled through the picturesque lands of France to Italy with his beautiful family.
A Journey Into The Heart Of Europe
On their glorious adventure, they went to the fascinating Rome, the breath-taking Naples Venice, and other famous locations in Italy. So, how did Dickens describe the country? Was this travelogue as scandalous as the American Notes? No, not even close.
At the same time, Dickens wouldn’t have been himself if he didn’t share all of his concerns with the readers. He called it a country of huge contrasts, comparing the majestic buildings with the devastation and desolation in the cities. The writer did acknowledge the priceless historical monuments and the overall beauty of Italy.
Long Walks Early In The Morning
Yet, the everyday life of the regular men, women, and children was his biggest concern, and, even though he traveled with his family to have a good time, Dickens spent a lot of time out there on the streets, trying to get a sense of the day-to-day routine. A good writer never stops searching for inspiration.
Italy’s engaging street life captivated him. The luxurious carnivals, the expensive costumes, and the ever-smiling people enchanted the Englishman. He really loved to wake up early and walk for hours, attending the local attractions and tourist spots alone and on foot.
Charles Dickens And His Harsh Social Commentary
Of all the non-fiction that the famed writer penned, this is probably the most relaxing and exciting one. Dickens didn’t pay all of his attention to the problems of the country but rather focused on all the goodness of Italy.
He used his writing brilliance and unique style to share his delight and despair with the loyal readers. He was more of a tourist than a critic and described all the famous sights, landmarks, and everything in between. At the same time, he didn’t want to follow a certain “template” and did everything to avoid the classic stereotypes about the Italians.
Dickens wrote about the wretched beggars, the rich bureaucrats and the huge gap between these two social classes. Satire, social commentary, and piercing arguments are the writer’s trademark virtues, and you’ll find all of that in this thought-provoking travelogue.
Fighting Inequality And Injustice Every Single Day
Politics, social programs, segregation, impossible working conditions – Dickens saw most of it back home in England and couldn’t ignore all the horrifying things that were happening in Italy. Dickens wasn’t a daydreamer and knew exactly what he’d find in Italy.
At the same time, he was hoping that the regular folks would have more rights and better working conditions that the people in England. We mentioned in the beginning that Pictures From Italy is not nearly as scandalous as the American Notes.
But it most certainly is a thrilling and entertaining travelogue with a strong message. After he returned home, the master started to work on Dombey and Son, one of his most heart-wrenching novels. The critics praised the writer for staying true to himself and sharing an accurate and objective image of Italy.
At the end of the day, if you’re a big fan of Dickens and travel writing, you’ll definitely fall in love with this book. Dickens delivered a grandiose “collection of impressions”, as the writer himself liked to call his work, inviting folks to enjoy the amazing atmosphere of the country.
Fun fact: if you read “Pictures” as just another one of the master’s fictional stories, you’ll realize that it actually has a lot of common with his immortal novels, except that it doesn’t have a narrative. Furthermore, one can clearly notice the same observations and ideas in many of his famous works.
It’s atmospheric, insightful, and rewarding. Obviously, you won’t be able to use any of the tips/hints if you travel to Italy today, but the rest of it is a delight to read. The scholars are calling this book a solid background for his future novels. And while it is partially true, there is enough literary value in Pictures From Italy to make it worth your while.