Then, as now, Calabria was relatively ignored by traditional tourists. But Norman Douglas, the unrepentant pagan, was no traditional tourist. With his inexhaustible fund of erudition, wit and elegant literary style he conducts the reader from the promontory of Gargano to the tip of Aspromonte; through the influences of its many invaders - Greek colonists, Norman feudal lords, Spaniards and Angevins until its absorption into the corrupt Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Delicate, allusive, urbane and civilized, it is recognized as a classic for its vivid evocation of the life, language, history and customs of Europe's most colourful extremity. Its literary quality puts it in a class of its own.