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Small Boat to Bavaria de Roger Pilkington
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Small Boat to Bavaria (edició 1962)

de Roger Pilkington

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911,638,345 (4.5)No n'hi ha cap
Títol:Small Boat to Bavaria
Autors:Roger Pilkington
Informació:MacMillan & Co. Ltd.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Etiquetes:Maritime, Cruising, Canals, Roger Pilkington

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Small Boat to Bavaria de Roger Pilkington

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Pilkington's Small boat books were very popular in their day, and they still have a lot of charm fifty years on, although they reflect a style of travel-writing that has long since gone out of fashion. In an anecdotal sort of way, we learn a great deal about the scenery, buildings, local legends and the history of navigation. But Pilkington and the rest of the crew of the Commodore are almost invisible. A refreshing change, once in a while, but it could get irritating if you tried to read several of his books in a row.

In this book, he describes cruising along the Neckar in 1959 and the Main in 1960. The title is slightly misleading, as the Commodore never really gets into Bavaria proper: at that time there was no inland route from the Rhine side of the watershed to the Danube, so they are confined to Baden, Würtemberg and Franconia. Nonetheless, it's a very interesting tour, and Pilkington takes time as well to write about the defunct Ludwig Canal (referring to the accounts of travelling through the canal by Donald Maxwell and Negley Farson) and to predict that he will be able to travel to the next Oberammergau festival (1970) via the RMD canal. Being German, the canal builders will finish on time, he tells us. Little did he know that it wouldn't be opened until 1992!

Re-reading him after quite some time, I was struck by how interested he is in religion. Although he was apparently a prominent Congregationalist and a member of a well-known nonconformist clan, he doesn't come across as an in-your-face Evangelical in the tradition of travellers like George Borrow or John MacGregor (this is the 1960s, not the 1860s, after all!). He writes about the beauties and eccentricities of south German religious practice in a sympathetic, open-minded way. When he draws attention to how different it all is from his own background, it isn't from a position of superiority, but to confess his own ignorance. However, I do sometimes wonder whether he hasn't invented one or two of the many absurd anecdotes about local saints that he feeds us with. I haven't managed to catch him out yet, but perhaps there is an element of subtle propaganda somewhere... ( )
  thorold | Aug 28, 2012 |
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