John Julius Norwich - Paradise of Cities (2nd Hand Hardback)
Subtitled : Venice in The 19th Century.
An obligatory stop on the Grand Tour for any cultured Englishman (and, later, Americans), Venice limped into the 19th Century, first under the yoke of France, then as an outpost of the Austrian Hapsburgs, stripped of riches yet indelibly the most ravishing city in Italy.
The greatest living chronicler of Venetian history brings to life the city's magical charm in a beautifully illustrated and captivating book.
John Julius Norwich, the author of the acclaimed A History of Venice, traces the transformation of Venice from a proud independent state into a dazzling dreamscape that attracted artists, writers, and composers from around the world. In a strikingly effective departure from straight narrative history, he tells the story of Venice through the experiences and reactions of such famous nineteenth-century visitors as Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Byron, John Ruskin, Henry James, Richard Wagner, James Whistler, and Robert Browning.
Written with brio and humour, the profiles capture the incomparable charms of Venice - and the quirks of these historic figures as they discover (or fail to discover) them. Napoleon, having achieved the conquest that had thwarted other forces for a thousand years, was totally indifferent to the glories of his prize. The almost comically lascivious Byron seduced nearly every woman in Venice until he had the misfortune of falling in love with one of them, and the prim Ruskin obsessively sketched every architectural detail for his seminal book, The Stones of Venice, even as his comely wife grew weary of his celibacy. Wagner worked on Tristan und Isolde in Venice, and Whistler painted his greatest masterpieces there.
Like Peter Ackroyd's much-praised London, Paradise of Cities is at once a fascinating history, a matchless travel guide, and a wonderful gift book. Filled with vintage photographs and full-colour reproductions of period paintings, it conveys both the misfortune of Venice's decline and the magnificence of its eternal beauty. It is as magical, as colourful, and as irresistible as its subject.
- Format : Standard 2nd Hand Hardback with Dust Jacket
- Condition : Very Good
- Category : Non-Fiction - Europe
- Published : 2003 (Doubleday - USA - Stated 1st Edition, 1st Printing)
- ISBN : 9780385509046
- SKU : B002205
- PPC : SP900gm
- RRP : $32.50
- Quantity Available : 1 only.
"Suavely presented, appealing & full of relishable moments. It lights up many facets of expatriate life in the world's most inexhaustibly alluring city." - The Sunday Times.
"Norwich is a historian of uncommon urbanity: scholarly and erudite but never pedantic. His style is as graceful and easy as it is knowledgeable." - Los Angeles Times.
"Stylish, resonant, indelible . . . an ode to a very splendid and unique city." - Booklist.
"Supremely readable and often witty." - The Guardian.
"A very entertaining combination of history/biography/travel writing. It's organised as a series of profiles of mostly writers, artists and cultural patrons who lived in Venice over the course of the 19th Century." - Goodreads Review.