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The Venetians
Cover of The Venetians
The Venetians
A New History: From Marco Polo to Casanova
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The Republic of Venice was the first great economic, cultural, and naval power of the modern Western world. After winning the struggle for ascendency in the late 13th century, the Republic enjoyed centuries of unprecedented glory and built a trading empire which at its apogee reached as far afield as China, Syria, and West Africa. This golden period only drew to an end with the Republic's eventual surrender to Napoleon. The Venetians illuminates the character of the Republic during these illustrious years by shining a light on some of the most celebrated personalities of European history-Petrarch, Marco Polo, Galileo, Titian, Vivaldi, and Casanova. Frequently, though, these emblems of the city found themselves at odds with the Venetian authorities, who prized stability above all else, and were notoriously suspicious of any "cult of personality." Was this very tension perhaps the engine for the Republic's unprecedented rise? Rich with biographies of some of the most exalted characters who have ever lived, The Venetians is a refreshing and authoritative new look at the history of the most evocative of city-states.
The Republic of Venice was the first great economic, cultural, and naval power of the modern Western world. After winning the struggle for ascendency in the late 13th century, the Republic enjoyed centuries of unprecedented glory and built a trading empire which at its apogee reached as far afield as China, Syria, and West Africa. This golden period only drew to an end with the Republic's eventual surrender to Napoleon. The Venetians illuminates the character of the Republic during these illustrious years by shining a light on some of the most celebrated personalities of European history-Petrarch, Marco Polo, Galileo, Titian, Vivaldi, and Casanova. Frequently, though, these emblems of the city found themselves at odds with the Venetian authorities, who prized stability above all else, and were notoriously suspicious of any "cult of personality." Was this very tension perhaps the engine for the Republic's unprecedented rise? Rich with biographies of some of the most exalted characters who have ever lived, The Venetians is a refreshing and authoritative new look at the history of the most evocative of city-states.
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  • Paul Strathern is a Somerset Maugham Prize-winning novelist and the author of many nonfiction titles, including The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior; Napoleon in Egypt; and Mendeleyev's Dream, which was short-listed for the Aventis Prize. Paul lives in England.
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  • AudioFile Magazine Derek Perkins's fluid articulation, like a gondola threading the canals, carries the listener unresistingly through the crowded spectacle of Venice's centuries of glory. Strathern is a superb writer, and this is a fascinating history of Venice's evolution as a major trading center from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries, "from Marco Polo to Casanova," a story that encapsulates Europe's own evolution and its life-or-death struggle against the Islamic East. But somewhere deep into the Genoese wars (1256-1381), one can let loose the thread and enter a state where that fine voice and the fluid succession of Italian names, battles, and politics papal and secular become pure delight. D.A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
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The Venetians
The Venetians
A New History: From Marco Polo to Casanova
Paul Strathern
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