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Friday, March 06, 2009

Where Will Books Take You?

Strumpet recently posed these questions: "Is there a place that you have always dreamed of visiting specifically because of a book you read? It can be any kind of book: fiction, non-fiction, travelogue, you name it. If you have been to the place, did it live up to your expectations? If you haven't been, do you think you'll ever make it there?" (It was really last month's question but I couldn't resist!)

Dreaming of Russia

At first it was ballet books with their gorgeous photos of the Bolshoi Ballet. Then I read the incredibly sad story of the last Tsar and the Imperial Russian Family so I wanted to visit the palaces and The Golden Ring Soon afterwards I read War and Peace (not properly) and admired Natasha, a rather frivolous girl whose character became forged by the hardship of war. Will I ever see the splendour of the Hermitage and Tsarskoe Selo, let alone feel the haunting presence of Tsar Nicholas, Alexai and his four daughters in the isolated Golden Ring? Fate will tell.

Anne's Beloved Island

My grandmother gave me Anne of the Island when I was 11. After reading about Anne's adventures at university I couldn't wait to buy the whole series. Unbelievably, the books were hard to find in Australia then. We travelled to Canada soon afterwards and saw the spectacular scenery of the Rockies. Lake Louise is probably the most beautiful place that I've ever visited. My parents weren't very happy with me, however, because I spent too much time in bookshops looking for the 'Anne' series.

One day I hope to see Green Gables, The Lake of Shining Waters, and all of Anne's favourite places.


I have been reading about the fascinating Empress Elizabeth of Austria/lately so I'd love to go to Vienna and imagine myself in the age of Imperial Splendour!

State rooms at the Schoenbrunn Palace

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