Alexander Maitland, lecturer, artist and author of Exploring the World, selects from his library some of his favourite and formative reads…
• Dance and Drama in Bali
by Beryl de Zoete and Walter Spies (1938)
Beautifully produced, de Zoete’s exhaustive account of traditional dance and dance-drama is richly and evocatively illustrated with Spies’s magnificent black and white photographs.
• Conrad’s Eastern World
by Norman Sherry (1966)
An enthralling exploration of Joseph Conrad’s life and voyages around Indonesia, which inspired such novels as Allmayer’s Folly and Lord Jim.
• In Good King Charles’s Golden Days
by George Bernard Shaw (1939)
Marvellously entertaining, Shaw’s comedy of Restoration manners, with drawings by Feliks Topolski, is set in Isaac Newton’s library in his Cambridge house in 1680.
• Martin Fierro
by Jose Hernandez (translated by Walter Owen) (1935)
The great gaucho epic rendered into English by Owen’s creative translation and illustrated by Alberto Guiraldes.
• Wine of Genius
by Robert Coughlan (1952)
A touching, vivid portrayal of the painter Maurice Utrillo and his circle during the legendary decades of Montmartre.
by Philip Heseltine (1923)
This precocious, revealing and at times brilliant study of the composer was written by his young friend and amanuensis.
• Days in Old Spain
by Gertrude and Muirhead Bone (1936)
During 1925-28, the author and her artist husband travelled the hidden byways of Spain, and in so doing created an incomparable record of this still remote country and its people.
• Tramping with a Poet in the Rockies
by Stephen Graham (1922)
Magnificent descriptions of Graham’s long walk with Nicholas Vachel Lindsay through a wonderland of snow-capped peaks, forests and starlit high valleys. This was one of Freya Stark’s favourite books.
Read our review of Exploring the World by Alexander Maitland