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A bestseller in a dozen languages and a favorite of readers for decades, The Story of San Michele is one of a remarkable life filled with fabulous experiences and ambitions. Axel Munthe was a fashionable physician in Paris who built one of the best-loved houses in the world, San Michele, on the Isle of Capri, on the site of the villa of the emperor Tiberius. Written with intelligence and verve, this autobiography tells tales of buried treasure in Italy, legendary creatures in Lapland, and the cold countesses and kindly whores of Naples—enough material, as one critic put it, "to furnish writers of short stories with plots for the rest of their lives." "A frank and absorbing autobiography...packed with good stories, vivid scenes, and memorable portraits." -- The Times [London] "Written in an imaginative style that is vigorous and impressive." -- New York Times
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Born in Sweden in 1857, Axel Munthe trained to be a doctor in Paris at a precociously early age, establishing a fashionable practice (Maupassant and Strindberg were his patients) and quickly gaining an international reputation. He became the friend of royalty; Tsar Nicholas asked him to look after his son - Rasputin was their second choice.Review:
There is enough material here to furnish the writers of sensational short stories with plots for the rest of their lives. * Daily News * 'A beautifully written series of episodes from Paris to Capri, ...recounting the author's struggle to discover what he desires from life.' - Matthew Linnecar * Geographical * It is an amazing book: wonderfully beautiful at times, appallingly horrible at others. For horrors he rivals Poe, recounting his gruesome experiences with a quiet simplicity which is strikingly effective. * Western Mail * I have found Dr Munthe's reminiscences intensely interesting and enjoyable, and it is hard to convey their charm of mingled pathos and humour or their multiplicity of appeal. * Illustrated London News * A most interesting and lovable revelation, enchantingly described. * Punch * Romantic, realistic, pitiful and enchanting, this is the record of a citadel of the soul ... all fantasy does it seem? Impossible? Absurd? But San Michele stands there on the hill for witness. A miracle? Well, every work of art is a miracle, and every beautiful thing the shrine of a realized dream. * Daily Telegraph * The Story of San Michele has style, wit, humour, great knowledge of the world, mixed with that strange simplicity of mind that is often the attribute of genius. * Observer * Told with a power and an honesty which makes this a very remarkable document. * TLS * One of the most fascinating of books, wise in its appraisal of men, overflowing with humour and edged with irony, sharper than a surgeon's knife. There are chapters which are veritable de Maupassant plots in their concise and dramatic realism. * New York Herald Tribune *
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