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Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

(1943)
A non fiction book by

 
 
Part travelogue, part history, part love letter on a thousand-page scale, Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is a genre-bending masterwork written in elegant prose. But what makes it so unlikely to be confused with any other book of history, politics, or culture--with, in fact, any other book--is its unashamed depth of feeling: think The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire crossed with Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. West visited Yugoslavia for the first time in 1936. What she saw there affected her so much that she had to return--partly, she writes, because it most resembled "the country I have always seen between sleeping and waking," and partly because "it was like picking up a strand of wool that would lead me out of a labyrinth in which, to my surprise, I had found myself immured." Black Lamb is the chronicle of her travels, but above all it is West following that strand of wool: through countless historical digressions; through winding narratives of battles, slavery, and assassinations; through Shakespeare and Augustine and into the very heart of human frailty.

West wrote on the brink of World War II, when she was "already convinced of the inevitability of the second Anglo-German war." The resulting book is colored by that impending conflict, and by West's search for universals amid the complex particulars of Balkan history. In the end, she saw the region's doom--and our own--in a double infatuation with sacrifice, the "black lamb and grey falcon" of her title. It's the story of Abraham and Isaac without the last-minute reprieve: those who hate are all too ready to martyr the innocent in order to procure their own advantage, and the innocent themselves are all too eager to be martyred. To West, in 1941, "the whole world is a vast Kossovo, an abominable blood-logged plain." Unfortunately, little has happened since then to prove her wrong. --Mary Park



Used availability for Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

Hardback Editions

May 1968 : UK Hardback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-333-00418-3 / 978-0-333-00418-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Macmillan
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


1943 : USA Hardback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. The Record of a Journey Through Yugoslavia in 1937. Vol. II
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-670-17191-3 / 978-0-670-17191-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Macmillan
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

July 2020 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia (Canons)
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 1-78689-163-8 / 978-1-78689-163-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Canons
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


January 2007 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-14-310490-X / 978-0-14-310490-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Group
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


July 2006 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 1-84195-787-9 / 978-1-84195-787-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


December 1996 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-86241-428-8 / 978-0-86241-428-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Canongate
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


December 1994 : UK Mass Market Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-14-018847-9 / 978-0-14-018847-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 1982 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb And Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
Author(s): West Rebecca
ISBN: 0-14-006355-2 / 978-0-14-006355-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


November 1984 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-333-38551-9 / 978-0-333-38551-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Papermac (Do Not Use)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


April 1982 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey Through Yugoslavia
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-333-33492-2 / 978-0-333-33492-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Papermac (Do Not Use)
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1964 : USA Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: Volume I
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-670-00149-X / 978-0-670-00149-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


February 1964 : USA Paperback
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: Volume II
Author(s): Rebecca West
ISBN: 0-670-00150-3 / 978-0-670-00150-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

January 2007 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon
Author(s): Rebecca West
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA