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MONELLI, Paolo.

Toes up. A Chronicle of Gay and Doleful Adventures of Alpini and Mules and Wine.

Translated by Orlo Williams.

Published: London: Duckworth, 1930

Stock code: 111604

Price: £125

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First edition in English, originally published as Le Scarpe al Sole, Bologna, 1921. “Tales of the Alpini fighting against the Austrians in the Alps” (Lengel). Monelli saw action at Valsugana, Ortigara, and Caporetto, before being taken prisoner and held at the Festung Hohensalzburg. The original Italian title is taken from a slang phrase of the Alpini “mettere le scarpe al sole” – to put your boot-soles in the sun – meaning to die in battle. The Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani describes it as “one of the most intense accounts of the war of the period, in which the experience of war is evoked in all its tragically alienating force” [cataloguer’s translation]. Uncommon, particularly so in the jacket.

Octavo. Original pale blue cloth, lettered in black on the spine. With the dust jacket. Portrait frontispiece and 15 other plates. Cloth a little mottled at the spine, pale foxing to the endpapers, and to the fore-edge with occasional encroachment to the margins, otherwise very good in unclipped jacket, a few splits and chips to the edges with some archival tape reinforcement, but pictorially and textually complete.

Bibliography: Lengel 944

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