The Story of San Michele


An autobiographical book, “The Story of San Michele” by Axel Munthe is as much a story about him as about a chapel called San Michele in the island of Capri off Italy as about his love of animals. Axel Munthe was Swedish, but studied medicine in France, and met several famous personalities of his time such as Louis Pasteur, Guy de Maupassant, Henry James, Jean-Martin Charcot. He was a medical doctor yet he treated animals also and got involved in the treatment of mental patients as well. He saved several lives during the times of a cholera epidemic in France, an earthquake in Italy. He bought over a chapel in San Michele and the house adjacent to it, renovated it, which took him several years, for which he went to Rome to earn money. He was a doctor for the rich and influential which is where he earned his moolah. He also purchased an entire mountain in order to save the birds there from being slaughtered. No mention anywhere in the book about his love life or his wife or children, though as per Wikipedia, he has had three marriages and three sons. Goodreads 5/5

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