Just as Well I'm Leaving: To the Orient with Hans Christian Andersen

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Jonathan Cape, 2005 - Danube River - 359 pages
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A funny, moving travelogue following in the footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen. Without Hans Christian Andersen there would be no Alice in Wonderland, no Roald Dahl and maybe even no Harry Potter (and he has outsold them all), but few realise that the man who invented children's literature was also a pioneering travel writer. Having been dragged against his will to live in Denmark, Michael Booth discovered one of the great secrets of travel literature - Andersen's A Poet's Bazaar - a fascinating travelogue through a Europe on the cusp of revolution, by an author who, though a genius, was clearly a towering neurotic and proto-drama queen. He discovered, too, his chance to escape Denmark. In 1840 Andersen was also desperate to flee, writing as he sailed: 'It is just as well I am leaving, my soul is unwell ' In Germany he was enraptured both by steam travel and the fiery Franz Liszt.

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User Review  - avatiakh - LibraryThing

When journalist Michael Booth married a Danish actress, he moved from his comfortable London world to Copenhagen and had to adjust to life in Denmark. While learning Danish he discovered the stories ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Michael Booth is a journalist who writes regularly for the Independent, Cond Nast Traveller and Time Out, among many other publications at home and abroad. He is thirty-two.

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