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ISBN 978-1-909585-44-7
First published July 2021; 280 pp paperback; 210 x 135 mm
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Tony Lurcock grew up in Kent and was educated at Oxford. He became lecturer in English at Helsinki University, and subsequently at Åbo Akademi. He returned to Oxford for research, and taught there, and in America, until his recent retirement. As well as three previous compilations of accounts of Finland by British travellers he has published numerous review articles, mainly on eighteenth-century literature and on biography.
Tony Lurcock  ‘Finish Off with Finland’: A Miscellany
The fourth and final volume in a series documenting Anglo-Finnish relations and acclaimed in the TLS as ‘a fascinating prism through which to view modern Finland’.

For over two centuries, Finland has been inspiring, delighting, baffling, and terrifying British visitors and writers. This volume collects a remarkable array of Finnish–British encounters and adventures in both countries – including the perils of Finnish horses in the nineteenth century and Finnish drivers in the twentieth, Sibelius’ and Mannerheim’s repeated visits to England, several daunting (and sometimes life-threatening) crossings of the border with Russia, the challenges of dentistry in the wilds of 1950s Lapland, and the inevitably awkward collisions of traditional British sensibilities with Finnish sauna culture.

Several accounts are included from British visitors who lived and worked for months or years in Finland, providing deeper and more nuanced observations of periods ranging from the tense, austere postwar years to the turn of the millennium.

The long historical perspective shows how experiences and perceptions have changed – or, sometimes, persisted – on perennial themes such as Finnish education, the Kalevala, and the sauna. A selection of English poems about Finland completes the collection.

Previous titles by Tony Lurcock presenting extracts from work by British observers of Finland with linking commentaries and covering the periods 1760–1830, 1830–1917 and 1917–1941: Not So Barren or Uncultivated, No Particular Hurry and A Life of Extremes:


‘This fascinating survey of the British in Finland.’
     – Paul Binding, Times Literary Supplement

‘This book is a gem: entertaining, fascinating, astonishing ... Tony Lurcock’s clever collage of these [travellers’ accounts] from the past adds to the enjoyment ... Lovely book.’
     – Finland Forum

‘Impeccably researched, written in an accessible, lively and lucid style, with useful appendices, notes, and bibliography, this is a gem of a book which will delight the scholar and the general reader alike.’
    – Mara Kalnins, Notes and Queries

‘At once both an anthology of extracts from British travel accounts and a rich mini-encyclopaedia of personalities, routes and destinations.’
    – Rainer Knapas,
Books from Finland

‘More than 32,000 asylum seekers arrived in Finland last year, and were welcomed with the offer of free classes on Finnish values and manners and how to behave towards women. The Finns’ openness and practical reaction to the current crisis match the historical attitudes described on almost every page of Tony Lurcock’s rich survey of British (and a couple of American) travellers in Finland, A Life of Extremes.
Julian Evans, Times Literary Supplement