‘The Divine Museum of Architecture’: Two French Authors in Sicily
‘The Divine Museum of Architecture’: Two French Authors in Sicily by Susannah Fullerton, OAM, FRSN
In 1835 Alexandre Dumas visited Sicily under an assumed name. As a Republican agitator, he had been banned from visiting the island, but was determined to get there. He wrote about his experiences in travel memoirs, used Sicily as a setting for a novel, and immersed himself in the current political situation. He was especially taken with the Aeolian Islands. Fifty years later, another Frenchman arrived. Guy de Maupassant, superb short story writer and also a travel writer, travelled all over Sicily in 1885. He was hugely impressed and called the place a “strange and divine museum of architecture”. He climbed Mt Etna, descended into the Capuchin catacombs, checked out ancient Greek sites and admired the Syracuse statue of Venus. Both Frenchmen were vivid travel writers. Follow in their footsteps and see Sicily as it was in the 19th century, through the eyes of these great authors.
Susannah Fullerton is President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia. She has published several books on Jane Austen and has lectured extensively on famous authors, their lives and works both in Australia and overseas.
Susannah leads the following ASA tours:
- In Search of Literary France 8 – 27 June 2024
- Exploring the Literary Landscapes of England 1 – 21 September 2024
- Sicily: A Dimension of the Imagination 11 -29 October 2024
- Exploring More Literary Landscapes of England 9 – 29 May 2025
- Exploring the Literary Landscapes of England 7 – 27 September 2025