These two classic travel works by Charmian Clift describing the bohemian life that she and her husband, writer George Johnston, and their family, led in Greece in the 1950’s are re-released here in one beautiful new edition.
‘Today we bought the house by the well’.
In 1951 the writer Charmian Clift and her husband, the novelist George Johnston, left Australia and went first to London, before decamping for Greece in 1954, along with their two young children. Settling first on the tiny Greek island of Kalymnos, then Hydra, their intent was to live cheaply and focus on their creative writing.
From this period of their lives sprang two of Charmian Clift’s best known and most loved books, the memoirs Mermaid Singing and Peel Me a Lotus. These works paint an evocative picture of the sundrenched rhythms and routines of traditional island life, intertwined with the bohemian life of the family, their friends and visitors to the island.
Wry, lyrical and blazing with life, Charmian Clift was a glorious writer – and these two memoirs of life on a Greek island are powerfully human and vividly alive.