Ian Greenlees’ vast library was inherited by Bagni di Lucca’s own library in 1991. However, only in recent years has it begun to be fully catalogued. Tommaso Maria Rossi’s, “L’Archivio di Ian Greenlees (1913-1988), dealing with Greenlees’ correspondence was published by Bagni di Lucca’s, Fondazione Culturale Michel de Montaigne, in 2015.
The second part of this mammoth archival task will be presented this Sunday June 23rd at 5.30 pm at Bagni di Lucca’s library at the ex-Anglican church. The second part deals with British Institute of Florence (of which Greenlees was director), and concentrates on its cultural activities and administration. The curator is once again, Tommaso Maria Rossi.
The two publications have been sponsored by the Montaigne Foundation which has managed the Library Fund for several years including the Greenlees archive.
Ian Greenlees chose to live the last part of his multi-faceted life in Bagni di Lucca, and was made an honorary citizen of the comune. The entire Greenlees Archive should now be made both safe and available to all who wish to study the profile of an exceptional man who linked his British (indeed Scottish) nationality with his great love of Italian culture, and his notable contribution to its political and social life.
My wife, Sandra, met Ian on various occasions as he was a regular visitor to London’s Italian Institute of Culture in Belgrave square where her father was Secretary general and where her mother (who only recently celebrated her ninety eighth birthday) was also employed.
Sandra describes Ian as a not very tall, rather stout person – Ian certainly loved his food and famously delayed his escape from invading Axis forces by lingering over gargantuan meals so that the enemy would not get their hands on his favourite cuisine. He spoke in a gentle Scottish accent and made valuable contributions not only to the Italian Institute but also to the British-Italian society, founded in 1941.
The volume will be presented by Maria Francesca Pozzi, head of the Library and Archive of the Licia and Carlo Ludovico from the Ragghianti Art Centre Foundation of Lucca. Alessandra Grandelis, researcher and writer on Alberto Moravia, will give a talk on cultural and social relations between the Italian writer and Ian Greenlees.
It will certainly be an interesting occasion.
In case you are unacquainted with Greenlees, who is buried in Bagni di Lucca’s cemetery at Corsena, I have contributed a few posts on him.
For general biographical details see:
For a conference held at Bagni di Lucca in 2014 see
For a description of Ian Greenlees’ house (now on sale)
For an interesting insight into one of Greenlees’ wartime exploits as director of the allies’ Bari Radio station:
For Greenlees’ views on the relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe (especially relevant in today’s Brexit debacle)
For Greenlees’ love of animals (he was a founder of the Italian equivalent of the UK’s RSPB)