AMORGOS, the easternmost island of the Greek Cyclades is a stunner,
with whitewashed houses, trestled alleyways and fiery rust sunsets ...
Kevin Raub in New York Post, 2010

The Connoisseur’s Island Guide

Nigel McGilchrist

Nigel McGilchrist

Amorgos – July 26th, 2011 – The Scottish scholar and art historian Nigel McGilchrist who has lived and worked in the Mediterranean area – Italy, Greece and Turkey – for over 30 years, has self-published a 20-part book edition on the Aegean islands – an undertaking of epic proportions.

The Amorgos Island Magazine is proud to announce a partnership with Nigel McGilchrist’s publishing activities to present his books to you and enrich the Magazine’s content from his publications.

About Nigel’s Greek Island Guide

Every publisher’s nightmare? Or every reader’s dream? When the publisher Blue Guides asked Nigel McGilchrist, to write a guide to the Greek islands, it never expected what it got – a manuscript that ran to nearly 600,000 words, three times the agreed length.

Callout Title

“… delightful, well-observed, literary accompaniments to the Greek islands, by a British scholar.”
The Economist,
Books of the Year

“So evocative and informative, one hardly needs to go… Lovely…”
Bettany Hughes,
Sunday Herald,
Books of the Year

McGilchrist’s enthusiasm for his subject, which he researched for the best part of six years, was like a runaway horse. “I was commissioned to write the bookat the start of 2003 and delivered the manuscript in late 2008,” he says. “For a time, the project took over my whole life. But I was relishing the challenge. There was just so much to cover.” The publishers, aghast at his prolixity, set to work with a red pencil and eventually condensed his epic manuscript to a manageable length. But, for McGilchrist, the resulting book was such a shrivelled travesty of his original that he decided to buy back the rights and go it alone, publishing his manuscript in extenso under a separate imprint, much as a director might release his own cut of a movie that had been mauled by the studio.

For lovers of the Aegean, it is as close to being the definitive guidebook to the region as you are ever going to get. There is no volume on Crete, because there is already a Blue Guide to Crete; and Corfu and the Ionian Islands, to the east of mainland Greece, will have to wait for another day.

But the islands of the Aegean – 70-odd in all, some barely inhabited, others popular tourist destinations – are charted in loving detail. From Kos to Rhodes, from Chios to Lesbos, from the Northern Dodecanese to the Lesser Cyclades, McGilchrist does not miss a trick.

The practicalities are all there: how to get to each island, where to stay, where to eat. But it is the other stuff, the richly textured descriptions of the landscape and the main archaeological sites, littered with learned footnotes, that makes the series so rewarding.

One of Nigels’ favourite Islands is Amorgos (Book No. 20).

Amorgos, the easternmost island of the Cyclades, he recommends as having something for everyone. “It provides stunning natural beauty, lots of historical interest and is not much visited or known.”
Writing about the History of Amorgos (see original text), Nigel goes into geographic and historic details about Minoa, Chora, Hozoviotissa, Varsamitis, Markiani, Kamari, Arkesini, Aigiali, Langada, Tholaria, …

About Nigel McGilchrist

Nigel was a scholar at Winchester College and at Merton College, Oxford. At Oxford he graduated with First Class Honours and won three University prizes and medals in Literature and in Art.

As an art historian, he lectures widely in art and archaeology at museums and institutions both in Europe and in the United States. He worked for a period for the Italian Government’s Ministry of Arts as an external consultant in the field of wall-painting conservation, at the time that the Vatican was embarking on its controversial cleaning of the Sistine Chapel. He was Director of the Anglo-Italian Institute in Rome for six years, taught at the University of Rome, for the University of Massachusetts and was for seven years Dean of the joint Faculty of European Studies for a consortium of American Universities and Colleges. In recent years he has been lecturing at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California.

Nigel has served on the Board of Editors of the Blue Guides series, the world’s oldest English-language cultural and artistic guides, and has contributed extensively to several of the new editions on Greece and Italy. Over the last six years he has walked every path and village of the sixty inhabited Greek Aegean islands in order to prepare a completely new survey-guide of their archaeology, history and art – published in abbreviated form as the Blue Guide to the Aegean Islands and in complete version as the twenty volumes of McGilchrist’s Greek Islands. He has lived and worked in the Mediterranean area – Italy, Greece and Turkey – for thirty years and now lives near Orvieto in Italy where he produces olive oil and red wine.

McGilchrist's Greek Islands 2010To get more information and to buy the books visit Nigel’s Website McGilchrist’s GREEK ISLANDS.

Twenty Books, Seventy Islands, A hundred and twenty maps & plans, Three thousand four hundred pages. “For lovers of the Aegean, it is as close to being the definitive guidebook to the region as you are ever going to get.” Daily Telegraph.

Pricing: single book GBP 7.95, all 20 Titles GBP 100 (unboxed), GBP 120 (boxed), free P & P within Europe!

Nigel McGilchrists - Greek Islands

Nigel McGilchrists - Greek Islands - full edition


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  1. How wonderful! Thank you for bringing this material to our attention, and hurrah for Nigel McGilchrist for saving his work from the publisher’s “tender ministrations.”

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