By Bengt Jangfeldt
Axel Munthe: the line to San Michele tells for the 1st time the riveting life-story of a unprecedented person, who got here to outline the days he lived in. The precociously brilliant son of a Swedish pharmacist, Axel Munthe labored less than Jean Martin Charcot, and in 1880, grew to become the youngest health care provider in French heritage. by way of the Nineties, he used to be world-famous for his therapeutic powers, believed by way of a few to be supernatural. He moved within the such a lot vibrant and exalted circles of fin-de-si?cle Europe, counting among his associates Henry James, Howard Carter, Rainer Maria Rilke, girl Ottoline Morrell and count number Zeppelin. although surgeon to the Swedish courtroom, the place he grew to become the sweetheart of the Crown Princess Victoria, Munthe used to be extra at domestic with nature than with humans. He travelled via remotest Lapland, in addition to throughout Europe, and his nice love used to be animals, which he went to nice lengths to guard. In 1929 he released the tale of San Michele, an account of his lifestyles, shot via along with his love for Italy and Capri, the place he equipped a chicken sanctuary and the home of his desires, the Villa San Michele. The e-book grew to become a world most sensible vendor, translated into forty languages, and has develop into one of many classics of the final century. Bengt Jangfeldt is the 1st individual to have passed through Munthe’s diaries, letters and notebooks to provide this definitive account of 1 of twentieth Century Europe’s such a lot brilliant figures. Written with the verve and enthusiasm of its topic, Axel Munthe: the line to San Michele inspires a misplaced time, a lifetime of passions, and a guy who believed in each experience within the energy of goals.
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Extra resources for Axel Munthe: The Road to San Michele
What would Schopenhauer say if he caught sight of you, pessimistic steersman, and you, sporting dolphins! Apart from his music, it was the sea that was Axel’s favourite refuge from his ‘hypochondria’ – especially on Capri, the island he had first visited in 1876 and which he was now bound for again, after four years’ absence: Have you seen the loveliest pearl in Naples’ crown, have you seen Isola di Capri, floating on the waters of the bay? The waves bathe shores richer than thine, fair island, softer breathe the winds that blow through the groves of Sorrento, and more bountifully Nature strews its verdant luxuriance over Ischia’s hills than over thy summer-clad rocks.
Indd 21 03/01/2008 10:32:37 22 — the dream — such an extent that they were shown the door, suspected of being Germans. Axel had two gold watches on him, his own and another that he was going to give to his bride. The whole company ended up in jail, with Axel under suspicion of being a pickpocket. The wedding took place in Stockholm on 24 November 1880. The guests consisted mainly of the bridegroom’s artist friends, including, among others, Carl Larsson. Axel’s speech of thanks was by all accounts an object lesson in eloquence.
What struck Hedberg as ‘haughtiness’ might very well have been an expression of other facets of Sigrid von Mecklenburg, who was said to be ‘rather taciturn and reserved’, ‘religious and serious, with a rather gloomy temperament’. After a few weeks, however, Hedberg’s impression of the baroness was wholly positive, he called her ‘a very amiable and loveable woman’ and claimed to be very fond of her. Apparently, Axel had married Ultima in the hope that he could thereby forget his feelings for Sigrid, but this had not worked.
Axel Munthe: The Road to San Michele by Bengt Jangfeldt