Books

Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross

Queen Bee of Tuscany The Redoubtable Janet Ross Quite simply one of the best books of the year Michael Dirda The Washington PostBen Downing s Queen Bee of Tuscany brings an extraordinary Victorian back to life Born into a distinguished intellectua

  • Title: Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross
  • Author: Ben Downing
  • ISBN: 9780374239718
  • Page: 227
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Quite simply one of the best books of the year Michael Dirda, The Washington PostBen Downing s Queen Bee of Tuscany brings an extraordinary Victorian back to life Born into a distinguished intellectual family and raised among luminaries such as Dickens and Thackeray, Janet Ross married at eighteen and went to live in Egypt There, for the next six years, she wrote for Quite simply one of the best books of the year Michael Dirda, The Washington PostBen Downing s Queen Bee of Tuscany brings an extraordinary Victorian back to life Born into a distinguished intellectual family and raised among luminaries such as Dickens and Thackeray, Janet Ross married at eighteen and went to live in Egypt There, for the next six years, she wrote for the London Times, hobnobbed with the developer of the Suez Canal, and humiliated pashas in horse races In 1867 she moved to Florence, Italy where she spent the remaining sixty years of her life writing a series of books and hosting a colorful miscellany of friends and neighbors, from Mark Twain to Bernard Berenson, at Poggio Gherardo, her house in the hills above the city Eventually she became the acknowledged doyenne of the Anglo Florentine colony, as it was known Yet she was also immersed in the rural life of Tuscany An avid agriculturalist, she closely supervised the farms on her estate and the sharecroppers who worked them, often pitching in on grape and olive harvests Spirited, erudite, and supremely well connected, Ross was one of the most dynamic women of her day Her life offers a fascinating window on fascinating times, from the Risorgimento to the rise of fascism Encompassing all this rich history, Queen Bee of Tuscany is a panoramic portrait of an age, a family, and our evolving love affair with Tuscany.A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of 2013

    • Best Read [Ben Downing] ½ Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross || [Travel Book] PDF Û
      227 Ben Downing
    • thumbnail Title: Best Read [Ben Downing] ½ Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross || [Travel Book] PDF Û
      Posted by:Ben Downing
      Published :2020-02-21T03:30:23+00:00

    About "Ben Downing"

    1. Ben Downing

      Ben Downing Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross book, this is one of the most wanted Ben Downing author readers around the world.

    209 Comments

    1. COLOSSALLY DULL.“Though intelligent and learned, especially for an autodidact, she was by no means brilliant.”—page 15The first hundred or so pages—the entire first three chapters—of ‘The Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross,’ by Ben Downing, are a mind-numbing miasma of proper nouns, and should be skipped. You'll lose nothing and would thank me profusely for sparing you the boredom, if you knew just how relentlessly dull those three chapters were.Recommendation: If aft [...]


    2. It was interesting to read this and the Berenson biography so close together, as they were so different and covered some of the same ground.This isn't a particularly deep biography, and I'm left with the impression Downing thinks that the other generations of Ross's family were more interesting than she was. .


    3. I simply couldn't get into this. Much as I usually enjoy biographies of singular individuals, it seemed I was in for a nonstop parade of people that Janet met, places that Janet had been, and so on. While many of these people and places were noteworthy, there didn't seem to be much happening beyond surface commentary. About sixty pages in, I simply had to face the fact that I wasn't getting much out of the book. While not something I actively disliked, it wasn't anything I was enjoying, either.


    4. downing's book is so wordy, so detailed that it is unbearable reading. what could have been an insightful and delightful peek into an age we don't know enough about is, instead, a plodding, name-dropping tome with no spark. there is no story, no plot, no timeline. janet ross may have been a fascinating woman who led a spectacular life, but you'll never learn that from this book.



    5. Just finished Ben Downing's Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013). The book is a biography of Janet Duff Gordon-Ross, a fascinating woman who lived a life that connected the Victorian world of arts and letters to that of the twentieth-century. Downing writes not only about Ross's life in England, Egypt and finally in Tuscany but also about the larger Anglo-Italian community that lived in Italy. To understand her, he argues the reader needs t [...]


    6. I managed to get through Ben Downing’s book on Janet Ross. It was something of a slog. I came out at the end wondering what the big deal was about and why this particular woman excited him to write about her in the first place. So I began by adding up the pluses: She wrote books, apparently quite a few of them, and except for a cookbook, none of them are read much these days. She had a farm near Settignano and she treated her servants well so long as they did what they were told, didn’t talk [...]


    7. I did not finish this book. I was very interested in Lucie Austin, Janet's mother, and would have enjoyed reading more about her. The women in this family were definitely interesting characters who lived rich and exciting lives. In the hands of a different writer, this should have been enough to keep me engaged.My problem with this book is that 1) Janet Ross, while interesting, was not *that* interesting to write a whole book about and 2) the author filled much of the book with the history of th [...]


    8. Janet Ross, the subject of Queen Bee of Tuscany, was a fascinating woman: she was connected to almost every eminent Victorian (and Edwardian) that you can name. What's more, she was an active agriculturalist at her villa, Poggio Gherardo, and an author of no mean skill (her classic cookbook Leaves from Our Tuscan Kitchen has the most enduring legacy, but she wrote on a wide variety of topics).Downing's biography is extremely well-researched, and his portrait of Janet Ross is picked out in elegan [...]


    9. There is a lot of good fun in this book about Tuscany and the Anglo-Saxon love affair with the region. We are given extensive background for Janet Ross, who was the perfect specimen of this group, who lived in Italy and stayed the Other. After reading about her family background, her marriage, her (almost always celebrity) guests, I was still left with a question mark about the person. Who was she really, besides what her family tree tells us? The book fails to get inside her. The book neither a [...]


    10. I tried valiantly to read and like this book. Based on Michael Dirda's review, my book club is reading it. Halfway through, I am giving up. It is boring, boring, boring. It reads like a "Who's Who" of the time period, but you never get enough detail to get interested in these people, and it is impossible to keep them all straight. It is basically just a list of names of people who crossed paths with Janet Ross. No real insight into the character of Janet is given and nothing to make me want to k [...]


    11. "Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross" by Ben Downing. Ostensibly the biography of Janet Ross (1842-1927), an Englishwoman who lived in Florence for almost 60 years, it is, in fact, a great, sunny garden-party of a book, featuring guest appearances by many of the most eminent and eccentric Victorians, each of them pulling you aside to whisper some delicious anecdote. Read the review: wapo/1a9shYU


    12. Ben Downing’s Queen Bee of Tuscany brings an extraordinary Victorian back to life.Actually, that's exactly what it fails to do. Filled with details, Queen Bee lacks story. Janet Ross' voice is muffled by Downing's own explanations of her life and her role in a fascinating community, leaving us with dry text, rather than any sense of real life.


    13. I love a peek into the social dynamics of various eras and so this book was a treasure trove of information. Janet and her family were connected to nearly every prominent person of their era. The book definitely meandered. It was NOT focused on Tuscany, but on the family, life and times of Janet Ross.


    14. Ugh. Don't even bother opening up this book. I got up to page 40 and could no longer stand it. The description of this story being engrossing is absurd. There's so many peripheral characters with their goings-on (who cares?)that it's hard to get your head around. Janet Ross might have been a dynamic woman in the Victorian age but until you get to it, it's a big yawn.


    15. I thought this book would be so interesting the comings and goings of literati Tuscany but it was just so dull and boring it was complete STRUGGLE to get through it. In fact - I'm not entirely sure I did get all the way through it. Who knows who cares? Getting one star for effort only!


    16. I received this book for free through FIrst Reads.This book was very wordy, but not unpleasant. I've never even heard of Janet Ross before I read this book, but now I know a whole lot about her. I skim read parts of the book that I found to be a tad bit boring. For the most part it was a pretty interesting book.


    17. I expected just to take a look at this book (for lack of time) but ended up reading the whole thing so well written and engaging, it came close to becoming a movie-in-my-head. (A love of and familiarity with Florence helped.) Downing's ability to choose exactly the right word without seeming pretentious reveals the poet behind the colorful prose and made the book difficult to put down.


    18. I hate to say it, but I couldn't get through this book. I stopped at page 122. Although at first I was very interested in learning about Janet Ross, I struggled to get through the dense details. I finally gave up and moved on to another book.




    19. Somewhat drier and less engaging than other entries into the war time Italian Countryside stories, this book is informative, yet not very interestingly told.


    20. Charming book which takes you to Tuscany in the 19th and early 20th century and its expatriot British community. Full of interesting tidbits. Nice illustrations.



    21. The first section on her time in Egypt is really boring & drags badly. Tells the story of a leader of the English colony in Tuscany.





    22. This is an excellent book, beautifully written, well-paced and amusing. Disappointingly, no mention of Nelly, but I still loved his take on the Janet/Lina relationship.


    Leave a Comment