A Florence Diary | Granta

  • Published: 03/11/2016
  • ISBN: 9781783783168
  • 125x20mm
  • 64 pages

A Florence Diary

Diana Athill

In August 1947, Diana Athill travelled to Florence by the Golden Arrow train for a two-week holiday with her good friend Pen. In this playful diary of that trip, Athill recorded her observations and adventures – eating with (and paid for by) the hopeful men they meet on their travels, admiring architectural sights, sampling delicious pastries, eking out their budget and getting into scrapes.

Written with an arresting immediacy and infused with an exhilarating joie de vivre, A Florence Diary is a bright, colourful evocation of a time long lost, and a vibrant portrait of a city that will be deliciously familiar to any contemporary traveller.

The vivid intensity and Athill's joy at being young and alive and abroad make [A Florence Diary] perfect for travellers of any age

Jane Shilling, Daily Mail

A short, sweet account of Diana Athill's 1947 trip to Florence in which the venerable writer turns her gimlet gaze on everything from Florentine pastries to dull, fellow British tourists. The perfect stocking filler for armchair travellers

Claire Allfree, Best Non Fiction of 2016, Metro

This wonderful book is as near to time travel as anyone could wish and probably just as fun

Gillian Reynolds, Daily Telegraph

The Author

Diana Athill was born in 1917. She helped André Deutsch establish the publishing company that bore his name and worked as an editor for Deutsch for four decades. Athill’s distinguished career as an editor is the subject of her acclaimed memoir Stet. She is the author of seven further volumes of memoirs, Instead of a Letter, After a Funeral, Yesterday Morning, Make Believe, Somewhere Towards the End, Alive, Alive Oh!, A Florence Diary, and a collection of letters, Instead of a Book, all published by Granta. Her only novel, Don’t Look At Me Like That, was first published in 1967. In January 2009, she won the Costa Biography Award for Somewhere Towards the End, and was presented with an OBE. She died in January 2019.

More about the author →

From the Same Author

Diana Athill on Granta.com

Fiction | Granta Books

Don’t Look at Me Like That

Diana Athill

‘When I was at school I used to think that everyone disliked me, and it wasn’t far from true.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 69

Editing Vidia

Diana Athill

‘I thought so highly of Vidia’s writing and felt his presence on our list to be so important that I simply could not allow myself not to like him.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta 69

Lessons

Diana Athill

‘My two valuable lessons are: avoid romanticism and abhor possessiveness.’