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About the Author: Francis Marion Crawford

Francis Marion Crawford (1854-1909) was an American writer noted for his many novels. He was born at Bagni di Lucca, Italy. In 1879 he went to India, where he studied Sanskrit and edited the Allahabad Indian Herald. Returning to America he continued to study Sanskrit at Harvard University for a year, contributed to various periodicals, and in 1882 produced his first novel, Mr Isaacs. This book had an immediate success, and its author's promise was confirmed by the publication of Doctor Claudius: A True Story (1883). After a brief residence in New York and Boston, in 1883 he returned to Italy, where he made his permanent home. He also published the historical works, Ave Roma Immortalis (1898), Rulers of the South (1900) renamed Sicily, Calabria and Malta in 1904, and Gleanings from Venetian History (1905). The Saracinesca series is perhaps known to be his best work, with the third in the series, Don Orsino, set against the background of a real estate bubble, told with effective concision. A fourth book in the series, Corleone, was the first major treatment of the Mafia in literature.


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ISBN10: 1444692518 | ISBN13: 9781444692518

Excerpt from With the Immortals
The southern shore of the Sorrentine peninsula offers a striking contrast to the northern side. Towards the north the mountain opens into a broad basin, filled to the brim with soft tufo rock, upon which the vegetation of ages has deposited a deep and fertile soil. The hills slope gently to the cliffs which overhang the bay of Naples and they seem to bear in their outstretched arms a rich offering of Nature's fairest gifts for the queen city of the south. The orange and the lemon, the olive and the walnut elbow each other for a footing in the fat dark earth; and where there is not room for them, the holes and crannies of the walls shoot out streamers of roses and thrust forth nosegays of white-flowered myrtle. Westward from the enchanted garden of Sorrento the rocky promontory juts far into the sea, so that only a narrow channel, scarcely three miles wide, separates the mainland from sea-girt Capri, towering up from the blue water and rearing his rocky crest to heaven like some enormous dragon-beast of fable.
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