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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

Byron’s Paradise

May 12th, 2008

I recently got back from a few days in Portugal. Alexandre and Sofia run a publishing company in Lisbon and they were launching ‘Druid Mysteries’ in the Portuguese edition and asked me over to help promote it. As I traveled around with them, I wished that my daughters were there too, so they could witness what you can achieve if you believe in what you are doing and just get up and do it. Sofia is in her 20s, Alex just 30, and even though they started knowing nothing about publishing, they have learnt how to negotiate foreign rights with other publishers, the best way to produce and distribute books and so on. And now they publish 3 titles a month – really interesting books, beautifully designed.

We were staying in Sintra, 30 km out of Lisbon in such a beautiful spot – in wooded hills with tangerine trees in fruit. A palace, a castle, winding little lanes with picturesque houses. When Byron visited Sintra he thought he had discovered paradise. I think he was right.

We did a day’s workshop under the shade of a huge magnolia tree. Here we all are, only the small fluffy poodle who wandered in and out is missing from the picture:

5 Responses to “Byron’s Paradise”

  1. Aha! Thank you for spotting this. I must have misheard or been misinformed. He did like it though – he wrote in a letter to a friend:
    “I must just observe that the village of Cintra in Estramadura is the most beautiful, perhaps in the world. I am very happy here, because I love oranges and talk bad Latin to the monks, who understand it, as it is like their own [language], and I go into society (with my pocket pistols)…” And
    “Lo! Cintra’s glorious Eden intervenes,in variegated maze of mount and glen,” waxing lyrical about its “palaces and gardens rising in the midst of rocks, cataracts and precipices; convents on stupendous heights . . .” I’ve now corrected the post!

  2. It is nice to know that you were able to gather so many good memories. On my behalf, I would like to thank the spirited conversations, the melodic story telling, the unendless process of being captured amidst the webs of time.

    Hope to see you soon in Portugal.

    Many Blessings

    Melusine a.k.a. Vanessa

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