Paul Klee (1879-1940) created art which combined a myriad of different mediums and materials. From watercolours such as LMS describes, to ink work, pastel, oil paint and etchings, the Swiss/German artist made the most of what was available.
He also used canvas, cardboard, gauze, wallpaper and various other materials to place his art upon.
The eclectic combinations made Klee's style one most definitely unique to him and he drew on cubism, expressionism and surrealism to influence his work.
Klee's experimentation within art led him to conquer colour theory, which he subsequently wrote widely about (the Paul Klee Notebooks).
The German city of Berlin is the country’s capital.
It could very much be described as a ‘cultural capital’, although politics, media and science (particularly medicine) are also key aspects of what makes Berlin the city it is.
Amongst the notable architecture of the city is the Brandenburg Gate, which now appears on German Euro coins. It is an iconic landmark of Berlin.
At the time LMS was writing, the Friedrichstraße was renowned in Berlin – a bit of a legend in 1920s societal circles.
LMS’s Austrian travels took him first to Kufstein, the second largest city in Tyrol which borders the River Inn. Its most notable site is the Kufstein Fortress, although there are many others e.g. the city hall and its oldest church - Saint Vitus Church.
The smaller medieval town of Kitzbühel meanwhile, lies in the centre of the Kitzbühel Alps and is now renowned as a ski resort.
From here to Austria’s fourth largest city – Salzburg – home of beautiful baroque architecture and the birthplace of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and home of Maria Von Trapp – whose story was later filmed in the city for ‘The Sound of Music’ film.
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salzburg, located on the banks of the green Salzach river, is famous for many sites. Overlooking the city and indeed dominating its skyline, is the impressive Hohensalzburg Castle (Festung Hohensalzburg) - one of the largest castles in Europe.
LMS next visited the spa town of Bad Ischl, which was previously the location of the Dachau concentration camp.
Then to Gmunden – a town also enjoyed for its spa and health resort attributes – it has a variety of goat, lake, brine, vegetable and pine-cone baths, a hydropathic establishment and inhalation chambers.
Finally, in Graz we find the second largest city in Austrai after Vienna and another recent UNESCO World Heritage city.
This status is enjoyed mainly because of the wealth and variety of magnificent architecture resident in Graz, with 1,000 buildings (Gothic to Contemporary) in the Some of the most important sights in the old town include the Rathaus (Town Hall) and the Schloßberg - a hill dominating the old town and the site of a demolished fortress.
Kildonnan, is a village located in Inverness-shire in Scotland, just west of Edinburgh.
The River Tweed, at 97 miles long, is also known as the Tweed Water.
The Tweed valley holds a compelling glacial history and indeed is the relic of a paleo ice stream which flowed through the area during the last glaciation.
Cyril Vernon Connolly saw more definite success with his work as a crtitic than he did as an author (he wrote only one novel - 'The Rock Pool') and was editor of the literary Horizon magazine (1940-1949).
Connolly contributed book reviews to the New Statesman (for which LMS also wrote) and was influenced quite a bit in his career by the publication's editor.
However, it was his wit and critiquing of others which made Connolly the influence he was and he certainly made an impression on many throughout his career.
The New Statesman was a weekly political publication (of left-wing persuasion) founded in 1913.
It enjoyed support from the likes of George Bernard Shaw and the socialist movement he was a member of - the Fabian Society. The Society sought non-revolutionary means of furthering democratic socialism.
Buster Keaton (1895-1966) is best remembered for his comic silent film roles, although he was also a successful film-maker.
Keaton was given the nickname ‘The Great Stone Face’ such was his ability to deliver hilarious performances with a deadpan expression.
He has since been named one of the greatest actors of all time. His comedy ‘The General’ was considered by Orson Welles to be the best movie ever made.
Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG (1886-1968) was an aristocrat who took on many roles throughout his lifetime – namely author, diarist, politican and diplomat. He was born in Tehran, Persia (now Iran) and spent most of his young life following his father to a variety of diplomatic posts (his father was the British charge d'affaires).
Nicolson was a student of Balliol College, Oxford and later went into the diplomatic service, after which, he married Vita Sackville-West in 1913 (daughter of Lord Sackville and herself, a poet, novelist, and gardener).
The Nicolson’s mingled with fellow writers and aristocrats, including Virginia Woolf, whom Vita was in love with. Indeed, both she and her husband, despite their love for each other, both also loved members of the same sex. They had two sons, one of which wrote a book about his parents’ marriage (‘Portrait of a Marriage’).
Nicolson’s political life saw him become a member of Parliament for the National Labour Party for West Leicester from 1935 to 1945. He was too much of an aristocrat however to truly sympathise with his working class constituents and did not maintain his position in later elections.
British politician Sir Oswald Ernald Mosley, 6th Baronet, of Ancoats, (1896-1980) founded the British Union of Fascists (BUF). He entered Parliament at the tender age of 21 as a Conservative MP, but quickly became an Independent MP.
After dalliances with the Labour Party, Mosley founded the New Party around 1931, which became increasiingly fascist in its views. Deciding to unite the fascist movement in 1932, Mosley formed the BUF.
Imogen Grenfell married Henry Rainald Gage, 6th Viscount Gage, KCVO, Viscount Gage of Firle Place during much of the 20th century.
‘Vile Bodies’ was Evelyn Waugh’s second novel and told the story of the ‘unheroic hero’ Adam Fenwick-Symes and his attempts to woo and marry his chosen love, Nina…set against the backdrop of London society as it was between WW1 and WW2.
It subsequently takes the form of a romantic comedy, although it ends poignantly with Adam alone on the battlefield – without the love he sought. The ending received some criticism but as always, many more enjoyed it and hailed it as Waugh’s ‘most modern novel’ at the time.
William Gerhardi (1895-1977) was a British novelist with a particular preoccupation…the paranormal.
Born and educated in Russia, Gerhardi went on to study in Kensington and then Oxford, London and wrote a number of novels throughout his literary life, including Futility (1922), The Polyglots (1925), Pending Heaven (1930), Resurrection (1934), Of Mortal Love (1937), My Wife's the Least of It (1938), and This Present Breath (4 vols., 1975).
Playwriting was also part of Gerhardi’s repertoire, along with short stories. However, he was hugely intrigued by the paranormal, which the eagle eyed might have picked up on when reading his work. As someone who very much lived a nomadic lifestyle however, many of Gerhardi’s friends did not know of his interest, which comes to the fore in his novel ‘Resurrection’ – a tale which refers to his own outer body experience…
The popular seaside resort of Bandol is synonymous with fine wine, branded some of the best in France. With its picturesque beaches, cliffs and creeks, Bandol has always attracted the tourists – from Thomas Mann and Aldous Huxley to Brigitte Bardot…and of course, LMS.
The city of Amsterdam is the Netherland’s largest and is home to historic canals, as well as being the former home of Vincent van Gogh, to whom a museum is dedicated. Other famous attractions in Amsterdam include , the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum, along with the Anne Frank House.
Of course, the capital city, which is the Netherlands’ financial as well as cultural capital, is also renowned for its red-light district and cannabis coffee shops…
Meanwhile, Belgium’s capital city has a history of drawing in those of a creative persuasion and was home to various Impressionist painters in the past.With more than 80 museums, Brussels boasts an impressive range of artwork and other historical memorabilia. The streets are also lined with beautiful medieval architecture, monuments and boulevards.
Both Dutch and French are spoken in the city, with French having become increasingly popular during the 19th and 20th centuries. As the administrative centre of the EU, Brussels is therefore also referred to as the Capital of Europe.
London – home to LMS for a large part of his life, is saturated with history, culture and literature… Indeed, from Dickens to Shakespeare, Pepys to Woolf, many of the greats have lived and worked in the UK city – many more then and since.
Brimming with beautiful buildings, London is home to the famous Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, to name but just a few of its sites.
As Samuel Johnson once said: “You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
Indian leader Mohandas Karamchand (1869-1948), also known as Mahatma Ghandi (‘Great Soul’), was a key figure during the Indian independence movement, renowned for his peaceful approach to politics.
This opposition against tyranny was and continues to be an inspiration to other civil rights movements and, importantly, helped bring independence to India.
The Burlington Magazine was created in 1903 by a group including two art critics described as being the 20th century’s most important…Roger Fry and Herbert Read, along with National Gallery directors, Charles Holmes and Neil MacGregor and the ‘pioneer scholar of the Caravaggesque movement’ – Benedict Nicolson.
The monthly journal, which covered fine and decorative arts, enjoyed famous contributrors such as the writer Henry James amongst many other well known art historians and critics.
As the 20th century’s most devastating financal crisis, the Crash of ’29/the ‘Great Crash’/the Stock Market Crash of 1929 endured many names, but meant only one thing – economic crisis.
The result of excessive lifestyles throughout the ‘Roaring Twenties’, when Britain truly bloomed, the Crash of ’29 saw the stock market take a fatal hit and sparked the Great Depression, as share prices plummeted – a situation which would not see improvement or recovery until 1941.
Monte Carlo in Monaco is well known and loved for its casino culture (Le Grand
Nearby La Spezia meanwhile, was described by Ernest Hemingway as follows – “The roads are wide and the houses high and yellow” – and in the novel ‘Sir’, it is referred to as “the blue city of dreams and love.”
The town is part of the Italian Riveria and subsequently is a beautiful place to visit, ‘guarded’ as it is by the castle located at the entrance of the Gulf of La Spezia.
LMS journeyed to La Spezia specifically to see Percy Bysshe Shelley’s abode – Casa Magni (pictured), which was in actual fact, a boathouse of some vintage.
The writer however, who shared his home with his wife Mary Shelley, tragically met his end in the scenic surroundings, drowning in the Bay of Spezia on July 8, 1822…
The city of Pisa, best known perhaps for the infamous Leaning Tower of Pisa, is located in central Italy – in Tuscany. It contains many other historic sites however, including churches, bridges and palaces.
Another claim to fame for Pisa is the fact it was the birthplace of none other than the early physicist, Galileo Galilei.
Siena/Sienna, also in Tuscany, is another popular tourist destination and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Many artists have enjoyed Sienna over the years nd it retains a collection of Renaissance and High Renaissance artwork there still.
Also, no doubt drawing in the visitors, is the food found in Sienna and its famous Palio horse race, which is a bi-annual occurrence.
Moving on to Rome, the Eternal City is resplendant in awesome architecture, choc-a-bloc with churches and steeped in rich Roman history – such as the Romulus and Remus legend of how the city was created.
From the creative genius of its artists, to Emperors, popes and so much more besides, Rome has produced and inspired many and around every corner reveals another snapshot of bygone eras.
Irish author Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) doubled up as an Anglican clergyman, publishing both novels - The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman and A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy – and sermons.
Acclaimed novelist William Alexander Gerhardie (1895-1977) drew on personal experience in Russia to write his debut novel – ‘Futility’.
He became an established and much respected and highly esteemed author and playwright, admired by the likes of Evelyn Waugh and HG Wells.
He too took the ‘stream of consciousness’ approach to his writing – which notoriously confounds some and delights others.
Turgenev made waves with his debut work, which consisted of short stories steeped in Russian Realism. Meanwhile, his novel, Fathers and Sons has been called one of the major works of 19th-century fiction.
Brought up in New Zealand, she arrived on English shores in 1908, subsequently hooking up with her peers - D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. Her stories, inspired by the work of Chekhov, include ‘The Doll’s House’ and ‘The Fly’, amongst many highly acclaimed others.
Italian composer Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi created operas, church music and madrigals and wrote one of the very first operas – ‘L’Orfeo’.
The Window'... 'Time Passes'... 'The Lighthouse'...
The three sections which comprise Virginia Woolf's classic novel divide a story in which some scathingly say nothing happens at all.
'To the Lighthouse' however is considered by most critics to be a modernist marvel - its flowing narrative includes little actual dialogue, but rather, a wealth of descriptive prose, which some readers of course, often find a bit too much...
The 1927 novel does divide opinion, but is reflective of the style Woolf was so well known for - words which windingly weave their way through the text, binding the tale together through the observations and thoughts of those portrayed within it.
But what is it all about, some still scream in frustration? A visit to the lighthouse? Really? Is that it?
Perhaps it is, but it is so much more - it is the story of emotions felt, the minutia of day-to-day life... more specifically, that of the Ramsay family during their annual visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland.