Illyrian Spring

Illyrian Spring She lay in bed listening to the nightingales and the river under her window and asking herself with a sort of exasperated astonishment whether she could really be falling in love with Nicholas Even

  • Title: Illyrian Spring
  • Author: Ann Bridge Jenny Uglow
  • ISBN: 9781853810855
  • Page: 167
  • Format: Paperback
  • She lay in bed, listening to the nightingales and the river under her window, and asking herself with a sort of exasperated astonishment whether she could really be falling in love with Nicholas Even though she is a renowned painter Lady Kilmichael is diffident and sad her remote, brilliant husband has no time for her and she feels she only exasperates her delightful, h She lay in bed, listening to the nightingales and the river under her window, and asking herself with a sort of exasperated astonishment whether she could really be falling in love with Nicholas Even though she is a renowned painter Lady Kilmichael is diffident and sad her remote, brilliant husband has no time for her and she feels she only exasperates her delightful, headstrong daughter So, telling no one where she is going she embarks on a painting trip to the Dalmatian coast of Yugoslavia in the Thirties a remote and exotic place There she takes under her wing Nicholas, a bitterly unhappy young man, forbidden by his family to pursue the painting he loves and which Grace recognises as being of rare quality Their adventures and searching discussions lead to something much deeper than simple friendship This beautiful novel, gloriously evoking the countryside and people of Illyria, has been a favourite since its publication in 1935, both as a sensitive travel book and as an unusual and touching love story.

    One thought on “Illyrian Spring”

    1. This book is a part travelogue, part love story set in 1930’s Croatia, along the picturesque Dalmatian Coast. World-renowned artist, thirty-eight year old Lady Kilmachael, the wife of an eminent economist and mother to three grown-up children, leaves her family and all that she holds dear and escapes to Venice and Croatia’s remote Dalmatian Coast. She fears for her marriage, suspecting her husband of embarking on a possible affair and also is saddened by the strained relationship she has wit [...]

    2. As a member of the Virago group on LibraryThing – much mentioned on this and other blogs of late, I would often hear, of the incredible difficulty in getting hold of a green copy of Illyrian Spring by Ann Bridge. Green edition or not though – I really wanted to read it, and so was delighted to learn recently of a new edition being published by Daunt books. I ordered it immediately, and was impressed upon its arrival with the attractive high quality of this lovely new edition. In fact when I [...]

    3. This was a delight to read. It was especially pleasurable coming on the heels of Joyce Carey's much less happy and well-adjusted painter. Two normal, fairly happy artists; I think I prefer this vision of art.The plot, of course, is ridiculous, but it doesn't matter and it's not the point. The point is something about happiness and freedom and self-confidence (not to be confused with the damaging pride). It's also one of those great books about something that doesn't happen instead of something t [...]

    4. It was all so lovely and promising (at one point it seemed like there might be a flower-filled-field kiss, a la A Room with a View) but then all the coincidences at the end piled up and got a little too convenient and cliched :( Does make me want to go to Croatia, though!

    5. "Freedom is within. It does not live in Dalmatia any more than in London", June 21, 2015This review is from: Illyrian Spring (Kindle Edition)This is an absolutely charming light read which will have you booking a holiday to Croatia.Written in 1935 it is the story of well-to-do artist Grace Kilmichael who is 'running away' from her family to decide what to do next. Her economist husband seems to belittle her and her work (and perhaps to be getting overly friendly with a female colleague) while he [...]

    6. Charmingke a warm bath and with scented oilLook, this is of its age. But this writer was a best seller in her day. Lady K leaves husband and child because she feels unwanted and useless - oh, and all those servants too, you have to overlook that - and yet she is a famous painter in her own right.She flees to the Dalmatian coast -like you do - where she meets a young man, her own class of course, and he is grumpy and wants to paint and you can guess the rest - as she is still lovely in her fortie [...]

    7. A novel about a female painter who feels trapped in an unsatisfactory marriage and takes time out from it in Illyria. On the way she meets a much younger man and most of the novel is about their evolving relationship and how it leads the painter to discover a lot about herself. This is a delightful book, full of emotional insight. I have given it four rather than five stars because, particularly in the first half, there is rather too much loving description of places for my taste - a few pages r [...]

    8. When I read fiction, it's normally of the romance or sword & sorcery varieties, so when a friend recommended I try this, I was a bit dubious. A middle-aged coming-of-age story / fictional travelogue, really? But, I decided to trust her and - oh, I'm so glad I did! This is such a lovely book.The descriptions of Grace's travels are beautifully, crisply done and the characters themselves are all quite charming. The perspective of the writer/narrator displays such grace, maturity, and unexpected [...]

    9. An utterly charming book: the romance is threaded with strands of femimism, punctuated with gorgeous descriptions of Dalmatia, and capped with a comedy of errors. The story and prose reminded me of my time in college, when I read a lot of novels by British women writers. I only needed the green-bound Virago edition to complete the memory.

    10. Though written in the 30's this novel still has lots of relevance. I enjoyed it for the insight it gave me into how far women have comed how far we still have to go. Plus it's a lovely travel fantasy; nothing wrong with that!

    11. An absolutely beautiful book that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you, like me, love books like Enchanted April you will love this.

    12. Lady Grace Kilmichael the heroine of the book is a 45 years old married lady who feels underappreciated by her husband and grown up children. She escapes to Europe where she encounters a kindred spirit Nicholas Humphries a young man who wants to become a painter while his family objects. She already a well renown painter helps him gain confidence and independance and he in turn helps her. The romance here is very chaste, rather like courtly love, a meeting of like minds or spirits. Plus the book [...]

    13. I first read this book about 50 years ago. Loved it then and loved it even more this time around. I was delighted to find it back on the bookshop shelves. It is beautifully written. I savoured every page. The descriptions of the landscape, places, and characters almost makes one regret one never visited these places before the world changed so much. However, I am now an armchair traveller and it's wonderful to escape into the long gone days of books by writers such as Ann Bridge, Elizabeth Bowen [...]

    14. It's a funny one, it really is. I mean, on the one hand it's a complete fantasy - a mother, feeling unappreciated, goes off on a painting trip (oh yes, she's a successful painter too) without telling her family where she's going. She wanders around Venice, looking at art and running into a young man who also happens to paint and who joins her in traveling and painting and understands her like her family never has All of which is fun to read, but not a bit like real life.On the other hand, this w [...]

    15. This is a delicious 1930s novel about a 40-something aristocratic painter, Lady Grace Kilmichael, who escapes her inattentive husband and ungrateful grown children for a break in Dalmatia (present-day Croatia.) En route via Venice, she meets another would-be painter on the island of Torcello, an Englishman named Nicholas, who is in his early 20s. The two embark unwittingly on a romantic relationship as 'Lady K' acts as the young man's mentor.The insights in this story about middle-aged married r [...]

    16. I have a weakness for what I still call 'women's books' -- what's now called 'chick lit' I think. The 'chick lit' of the 20s and 30s down to the 50s, to be precise. Not handkerchief wringers like Edna Ferber (usually), but the sophisticated ones like Anne Bridge and Margery Sharp for the Brits or Eleanor Mercein for the Yanks. Before she went off on Cold War spy fiction in the Fifties, Anne Bridge wrote wonderful books of this kind, often replete with wonderful travel details. I think this is th [...]

    17. I was always going to give this one 5 stars. I heard this serialised on the radio many years ago when I was a teenager, and I delighted in finding an old second-hand copy to read. It is just as delightful as I remembered.An unusual and gentle platonic romance between an older, successful woman artist and a young man grappling with his artistic vocation against the wishes of his family. They meet in Venice and move down the Croatian coast to Dubrovnik where the story ends happily but highly contr [...]

    18. This funny little book (or odd, as Bridge herself would have said), is dated in 1935 when lady Grace Kilmichael runs away from her husband and family to explore the Adriatic. I rather enjoyed this book but had some trouble reading the lengthy descriptions of landscape, churches, works of art etc. Grace Kilmichael is charming enough though. Her insights in herself and young Nicholas, whom she meets along the way, are at the same time outrageous and wise. This book makes you long for a holiday and [...]

    19. A middle-aged English woman who is also a part-time artist, at odds with her family, escapes on a working vacation to draw and paint on the Dalmatia coast and befriends a young man who is also struggling with his life. The places, people and landscapes are so well described, it's like taking a vacation of your own, and the main characters's struggles with their life problems and relationships are realistically and sensitively portrayed. Charming, but also serious. Very much of its time (1935) in [...]

    20. Written in 1935, this is the story of a well-born English woman fleeing her unappreciative family who take her for granted and constantly belittle her. She takes off for Illyria (Dalmation Coast/Yugoslavia) to paint without telling anyone where she is going and where she has plenty of adventures. Lyrical descriptions of the coast. I must go see this area. I wonder if it's still as idyllic as she depicts it.

    21. This is a lovely read. I read it whilst travelling around the coast near Dubrovnik where the majority of the story takes place. It is easy to imagine Lady K and Nicholas going about their painting amongst the beautiful scenery. Highly recommend!

    22. Loved it. An inspirational exploration of how to deal with headstrong children while attempting to hold onto/discover yourself, camoflauged cleverly in alluring discriptions of places and settings. It made me want to take the very same trip and see what she saw.

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