Surrounded by silence, we find comfort in the heat of a fire. This is the age-old story of the season when nature holds its breath.
Telling the story of winter means speaking about a primeval part of human history: the Ice Age, the struggle for survival, the idea of rebirth connected to the ancient myths and festivals. Winter is the season of suspension, both in agriculture and in war. It is one of the most powerful times of the year, punctuated by religious rites and by the hope of renewal which they express. As it follows winter through the centuries, this book focuses on hunters, diseases, exhausting military retreats, and the chill of monasteries, but also on enchanted beings hidden in the heart of the earth, to long vigils before the fire in a context of domestic intimacy. Winter: a muffled white interval, both festive and deadly, which continues to stimulate our imagination.
Contents: Introduction: Let me tell you the story of winter. - The Origins of Winter. - The first winter on earth. - The Mediterranean winter of the Greeks and Romans. - When heaven darkens: the monasteries. - The birth of Christ in the heart of winter. - The arrival of the Magi. - The winter of war. - The invention of the nativity. - Carnival: death and rebirth. – Modern Winter. - The Little Ice Age. - Luther, St Nicholas and the Christmas Tree. - A brief history of the colour white. - Flemish winter. - Becoming ill. - The Islamic world and winter. - Getting dressed. - The cold as an ally: Russia. - The winter of geographical discoveries. - The charm of Venice and Vivaldi. - The Winter of Intimacy and Waiting. – The Russian spirit and General Winter. - Flowers of ice: Goethe and Andersen. - The sound of winter. - White Christmas. - When winter began to warm up. - Silver ice-skates. - The snows of the East. - Painting emotions. - In search of extreme winter: the conquest of the poles.- The sergeant in the snow. - Winter sports. - On the other side of the world. - The invention of Father Christmas. - What’s left of winter. - At the end of the story. – Books, stories and people behind winter.
Alessandro Vanoli is a historian and writer, specialising in Mediterranean history.
Spanish rights sold.