'So glittering is the overall parade - and so entertaining the surface - that the trilogy remains excitingly vivid; it amuses, it diverts and it informs, and to do these things so elegantly is no small achievement' Sunday Times 'A fantastically tart and readable account of life in eastern Europe at the start of the war' Sarah Waters The Balkan Trilogy is the story of a marriage and of a war, a vast, teeming, and complex masterpiece in which Olivia Manning brings the uncertainty and adventure of civilian existence under political and military siege to vibrant life. At the heart of the trilogy are newly-weds Guy and Harriet Pringle, who arrive in Bucharest - the so-called Paris of the East - in the autumn of 1939, just weeks after the German invasion of Poland. Guy's lecturing job awaits, alongside friends and the ever-ardent Sophie - but for Harriet, alone and naive, it's a strange new life. Other surprises follow: Romania joins the Axis, and before long German soldiers overrun the capital. The Pringles flee south to Greece, part of a group of refugees made up of White Russians, journalists, con artists, and dignitaries. In Athens, however, the couple will face a new challenge of their own...
'So glittering is the overall parade - and so entertaining the surface - that the trilogy remains excitingly vivid' - Sunday Times 'Wonderfully entertaining' - Observer Athens, 1941. Harriet Pringle feverishly awaits news of her husband, trapped in the spoilt city of Bucharest. Yet when the young couple are reunited, Guy once again becomes absorbed in his work, leading Harriet to seek the attention of a handsome young officer. But when Greece is defeated and Europe starts to crumble around them, Guy and Harriet are forced to find a new strength amidst the devastation. Manning's exquisite observations on love, marriage and friendship during wartime are brought vibrantly to life.
Bucharest, Autumn 1939: newlyweds Guy and Harriet Pringle arrive in a city alive with contrasts and rumour, on edge with wavering loyalties and the tension of war. Guy, teaching at the university, throws himself into Bucharest life, embracing all around him. Harriet, struggling to adjust to married life and to her husband’s friendship with the over-attentive Sophie, finds life in a city cut off from the outside world less straightforward than she first anticipated.
WINNER OF THE WINGATE PRIZE. A blue butterfly lands on the forefinger of a poet's writing hand at the site of a massacre. A moment of epiphany that carries its own inner command: Write. Chiselled out of atrocity, this book spells passion, dedication and vision. This is poetry to restore dignity and hope, poetry that matters.
'Her gallery of personages is huge, her scene painting superb, her pathos controlled, her humour quiet and civilised' - Anthony Burgess 'Glittering characterisation, sharp and eloquent writing' - Sunday Telegraph Bucharest, 1940. The city is on the brink of invasion and Guy and Harriet Pringle find their position growing ever more dangerous. Harriet longs for safety, while Guy's idealism frustrates his new wife. But when the Germans march in, Guy believes they must separate in a desperate bid to find safety, so Harriet leaves for Athens. The Spoilt City is a dramatic and colourful portrait of a city in turmoil, and of a young couple struggling to make their marriage work in the face of adversity.
The Balkan Trilogy is the story of a marriage and of a war, a vast, teeming, and complex masterpiece in which Olivia Manning brings the uncertainty and adventure of civilian existence under political and military siege to vibrant life. Manning’s focus is not the battlefield but the café and kitchen, the bedroom and street, the fabric of the everyday world that has been irrevocably changed by war, yet remains unchanged. At the heart of the trilogy are newlyweds Guy and Harriet Pringle, who arrive in Bucharest—the so-called Paris of the East—in the fall of 1939, just weeks after the German invasion of Poland. Guy, an Englishman teaching at the university, is as wantonly gregarious as his wife is introverted, and Harriet is shocked to discover that she must share her adored husband with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Other surprises follow: Romania joins the Axis, and before long German soldiers overrun the capital. The Pringles flee south to Greece, part of a group of refugees made up of White Russians, journalists, con artists, and dignitaries. In Athens, however, the couple will face a new challenge of their own, as great in its way as the still-expanding theater of war.
The first literary biography of the twentieth-century novelist Olivia Manning, this volume is a timely, expert, and well-researched biography that offers a vivid portrait of wartime survival and of London literary life from the 1950s through the 1970s.
'Fantastically tart and readable' Sarah Waters 'These books are clearly among the very best fiction about the Second World War. They are written with the English poise and understatement that Jane Austen raised to its highest art form' Chris Patten, The Sunday Times 'The finest fictional record of the war produced by a British writer' Anthony Burgess In the spring of 1941, a young English couple, Guy and Harriet Pringle, arrive in Egypt as Rommel's forces slowly but surely approach Cairo across the Sahara from the west. Will the city fall? In the streets the people contemplate welcoming a new set of occupiers, while European refugees and well-heeled Anglo-Egyptians prepare to pack their bags. And at night, everyone who is anyone flocks to the city's famed hotels and seedy cabarets, seeking one last dance before the tanks roll in. Manning describes the Pringles' ever complicated marriage and their motley group of friends and foes with a sharp eye. And the civilian world meets the military through the figure of Simon Boulderstone, a young army officer who will witness the tragedy and tension of war on the frontier at first hand.
Written during and after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, this book presents a complex vision of the Balkans that flinches from neither brutality nor beauty but honours dignity and courage. The book starts with a tour-de-force, the long poem ‘Do vidjenje Danitsé’ (‘Goodbye Balkan Belle’), and continues with a series of memorial tablets for victims of Jasenovac concentration camp. The book includes a sequence in memory of the Serbian, Yugoslav and Mediterranean poet, Ivan V. Lalic.Under Balkan Light forms the final part of Richard Berengarten’s Balkan Trilogy and is published together with the first two parts, The Blue Butterfly and In a Time of Drought. It is also the fifth volume in the Salt series of his Selected Writings.Richard Berengarten used to be known as Richard Burns. With the publication of this book, he now repossesses the family name of his father, the cellist and saxophonist Alexander Berengarten.