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  • Writer's pictureBijou Books

Getting lost in the charm of Venice

The beauty, history, art and literary draw of Venice has been a haven for travellers, tourists and its residents for centuries. Shakespeare based one of his most famous plays in this city, this tiny country which at one point was the gateway of trade and power. Thankfully, we no longer have to give a 'pound of flesh' to be able to enjoy this wonderful place.

What I love is how Venice remains somewhere special for those who wish to see amazing cities, that it maintains its uniqueness - how many places exist as it does, just floating islets where, at any point the water could consume the city.

One of our rare books - The Charm of Venice by Alfred Hyatt - was published in 1912 and captures how the 'grand tour' of days past was a pleasure, as well as a privilege for those that could experience it.

There are some amazing illustrative plates within the book, which are in brilliant condition for a book that is over 100 years old. In fact, the whole book is in just fantastic condition. The plates capture the scenes of Venice at that period of time, what that traveller would be able to see and experience; I'm sure that these sights and sounds can still be enjoyed today.

Charm of Venice illustrative plate

I love this book, it's one that is hard to come by; it's bound in calf leather instead of other versions out there which are in the standard blue leather covers and while the pages on its edges are unlevel, they are still perfectly bound to the spine and there is no damage to that spine. This is one book that can just sit on the bookshelf and be that 'poser' piece. If I could keep it, I would, but apparently keeping all the books I like would mean far less to share with everyone else through this website and at our bookshop in Cardiff.

So I hope that whoever chooses this book loves it and is able to see its true beauty, as well as is able to visit Venice and use some of the information in the book to enjoy the city even more. Who knows, you may even be able to track down some of the places painted.

Happy reading!

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