Near Mount Etna in Sicily lies Casa Cuseni, a beautiful house built in golden stone - and the home which Daphne Phelps was astonished to find she had inherited in 1947. At the age of 34, war-weary from working as a psychiatric social worker, with barely any Italian and precious little money, she plunged into a fascinating Sicilian world. The many of problems to be overcome included not only financial difficulties but local authorities and a house staff who initially felt no loyalty to the new Signorina, but who gradually accepted her as a respected member of their small community. To help make ends meet, for many years Daphne Phelps ran Casa Cuseni as a pensione. To her doors came Roald Dahl, Tennessee Williams, Bertrand Russell and the painter Henry Faulkner. But just as important to her life and her story, which she tells in this book, are the Sicilians with whom she shared the love and care of Casa Cuseni: Don Ciccio, the local mafia leader; Vincenzio, general manservant who recited while he served the meals; Beppe, a Don Juan who scented his eyebrows and his moustache to attract the local girls; and, above all, the steadfast cook and housekeeper who lives with Daphne Phelps still, and to whom the book is dedicated.
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Daphne Phelps' house and garden has featured in The World of Interiors and was the subject of a Radio 3 programme. A House in Sicily is her first book.Review:
Shrewd and sometimes wicked ... fascinating DAILY MAIL Written with a masterful sense of narrative timing ... this is one of those books which doesn't end - you just have a sense of a life going on and on IRISH TIMES A book as warm as the land it celebrates. INDEPENDENT
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Book Description Virago Press Ltd. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1860496806 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1701533