I only read "Pictures From Italy". I will borrow this again and read "American Notes" another time.
"I am not easily dispirited when I have the means of pursuing my own fancies and occupations" - made me laugh....aren't we all happy to have the means to pursue our own fancies?
"It is miserable to see great works of art - something of the Souls of Painters - perishing and fading away"
This is a different Dickens than in his novels, and yet the same. He's humorous, descriptive, observant. But unlike his novels, where he gets to the core of his characters and they come alive, the people in this book are distant, even when described in detail. The reason for this may be that Dickens is writing from memory; not as he was travelling.
I really enjoyed travelling through Italy with Dickens. This would make a great travel companion if travelling to some of the same towns as Dickens passed through to see how much (or how little) things have changed.
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