Poland was once the largest country in Europe - and one of the most powerful. The opulence of the Orient lived alongside the melancholy of the Romantic north creating a nation of passionate extremes and paradoxical psychology, but a country that valued honour and freedom above all. Devastated by waves of brutal invaders - Tatars, Swedes, Germans and Russians - Poland as the 'bulwark of Christendom' was virtually eclipsed in the eighteenth century, an all but forgotten magnificence. "A Country in the Moon" is the result of Michael Moran's fascination with this remarkable land over nearly two decades. Honouring a deathbed pledge to his uncle, an eccentric concert pianist obsessed with the music of Chopin, he gives an insider's view of a country embarked on wrenching change after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the present confrontation of ghosts from the wartime and communist past.In this uproarious personal memoir and meticulously researched cultural journey we keep company with a gallery of fantastic characters - Tatars and Teutonic Knights, Napoleon's mistress and daredevil Spitfire pilots, robbers and Rolls-Royce mechanics, heroic defenders of freedom alongside an ill-assorted group of modern Britons and Poles. In chronicling the resurrection of the nation from war and the Holocaust, he paints a portrait of cities lost and cities gained, monumental castles, primeval forests and picturesque landscape gardens among the finest yet least-known in Europe. This captivating journey into the heart of Poland is a timely and brilliant celebration of the return to the European fold of a valiant and richly cultured people.
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