The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald

Published originally in German as Die Ringe des Saturn. Eine englische Wallfahrt (1995), The Rings of Saturn (1998) – with its curious archive of photographs – records a walking tour of the eastern coast of England.

A few of the things which cross the path and mind of its narrator (who both is and is not Sebald ( and are lonely eccentrics, Sir Thomas Browne’s skull, a matchstick model of the Temple of Jerusalem, recession-hit seaside towns, wooded hills, Joseph Conrad, Rembrandt’s ‘Anatomy Lesson’, the natural history of the herring, the massive bombings of WWII, the dowager Empress Tzu Hsi, and the silk industry in Norwich. This is a strange and compelling hybrid of a book – fiction, travel, biography, myth, and memoir. It should not be missed. Translated from the German by Michael Hulse.

Available in paperback at

A film documentary, Patience (After Sebald) (, directed by Grant Gee and released in 2012, is based on this book. Available on DVD at

320 pages in Vintage Classics paperback edition

ISBN 978-0099448921

W. G. Sebald

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