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Diversions in Sicily

Henry Festing Jones

Book Overview: 

Samuel Butler's biographer dedicates his urbane account of the culture and entertainments of rural Sicily to the unborn son of his guide to them.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Don’t you remember that Rosario has been to prison for trying to kill your father?”

“Oh, that all happened a long time ago and Rosario has married and settled down since then.”

Evidently Carmelo had thought this over and had felt uncomfortable that I should shun Rosario for being a jail-bird and not shun him who was one also.  It seemed to indicate considerable delicacy of feeling on his part and I was pleased with him for taking so much trouble to get the confession off his chest.  Whereas Rosario had treated his disgrazia as merely an annoying little accident that might happen to any gentleman.

Peppino returned, stood on the quay and shouted to the ships; presently a small boat containing Vanni and a sailor detached herself from the confusion and rowed to our feet.  I was introduced and, amid the usual compliments, we took our seats and glided past the Sacro Cuore, the Due Sorelle, the Divina Provvidenza, the Maria Concetta,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

An odd book, interesting but lopsided in its structure, about a Victorian-era tourist's time in Sicily, and his friendship with a particular Sicilian waiter. The book is eventually revealed to be written for his godson, to explain how the waiter met his wife, but on that level it makes little sen...more

So boring! He spends half the book rambling about puppets.

An enjoyable travel journal written at the turn of the twentieth century, at about the time that my grandparents emigrated from Sicily. It was fun to read about the customs and traditions of the Sicily that they called home, and many of those ancient festivals are still celebrated today in that b...more