A bestseller upon its original publication in the 1980s, these diaries reveal life during WWII in Tuscany and include stunning rediscovered photographs In the Second World War, Italy was torn apart by German armies, civil war, and the Allied invasion. In a corner of Tuscany, one woman--born in England, married to an Italian--kept a record of daily life in a country at war. Iris Origo's powerful diary, War in Val d'Orcia, is the spare and vivid account of what happened when a peaceful farming valley became a battleground.
At great personal risk, the Origos gave food and shelter to partisans, deserters, and refugees. They took in evacuees, and as the front drew closer they faced the knowledge that the lives of thirty-two small children depended on them. Origo writes with sensitivity and generosity, and a story emerges of human acts of heroism and compassion, and the devastation that war can bring.
Iris Origo (1902-1988) was a British-born biographer and writer. She lived in Italy and devoted much of her life to the improvement of the Tuscan estate at La Foce, which she purchased with her husband in the 1920s. During the Second World War, she sheltered refugee children and assisted many escaped Allied prisoners of war and partisans in defiance of Italy's fascist regime and Nazi occupation forces. She is the author of Images and Shadows; A Chill in the Air: An Italian War Diary,
1939-1940; Leopardi: A Study in Solitude; and The Merchant of Prato, among others. Virginia Nicholson is a social historian and writer known for her works on women's history. She is the the author of five books, including Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939, and most recently, Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes: The Story of Women in the 1950s.