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Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem

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Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the diamond mines of India and the royal palaces of Europe to the jewelers of Fifth Avenue and the exhibit halls of the Smithsonian, the true story behind the most infamous gemstone in the world

Since its discovery in seventeenth-century India, the Hope diamond, a glimmering deep-blue gem weighing more than 45 carats, has been shrouded in mystery and steeped in intrigue. In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Richard Kurin goes beyond the speculation to reveal the truth behind a legendary stone.

The Hope diamond's history is tied to the French Revolution, the machinations of British King George IV, the Gilded Age in America, and a number of adept jewelers, including Pierre Cartier and Harry Winston. In the twentieth century, the story of the Hope diamond's curse made it more famous than ever before; some six million people visit it every year at the Smithsonian Institution. But this legend, which Kurin puts to rest once and for all, is only one small piece of a long and lustrous story that moves between ancient religion and modern magic, royal power and class rivalry, revenge and greed.

Kurin, a cultural anthropologist, has spent more than a decade on the trail of the legendary gem. His narrative is filled with fascinating places and people — from the fabled diamond city of Golconda to the fabulously rich heiress Evalyn McClean to Jackie Kennedy and her role in one of the Hope's few twentieth-century trips abroad. Richly illustrated, Hope Diamondworks in a grand historical tradition — depicting the specific to reveal the universal.

Review:

"In this authoritative history of the Hope Diamond (also known as the French Blue), Kurin describes how the 112 — carat deep blue diamond came into the hands of Louis XIV through diamond trader Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who in turn had bought it from an Indian mine. (Although rumors persist that Tavernier took the gem from the eye of a Hindu idol, Kurin says there's no evidence to support this action — Tavernier was a respected dealer.) The diamond was recut (reducing its size by half) and kept by the French monarchy until it was stolen during the revolution. It resurfaced, unrecognizable after being cut again, in the possession of London merchant Daniel Eliason in 1812. Some years later, it came into the hands of Henry Phillip Hope, was inherited by his wife and sold to several other owners, before being donated in 1958 to the Smithsonian Institution. There its mystique is grounded by 'scientific discourse' and study. During his chronicle, the author, director of the Smithsonian's national programs, describes the history of the diamond trade, how precious stones were classified, the long-circulating myth that a curse was attached to the Hope diamond and royal politics of the times, for a serious but fascinating look at cultural and gemological history. B&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Kurin, a cultural anthropologist, provides a cultural history of the Hope diamond, specifically looking at the story of the curse behind this blue stone discovered in India in the 17th century. He explains how the curse is really contemporary folklore of the twentieth century; relates the diamond's history since the seventeenth century and its many owners in India, France, England, and the US; and discusses the historical context. B&w photos are included. Kurin is the director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The author, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National programs, has spent more than a decade on the trail of the history of the Hope Diamond. His narrative is filled with fascinating places and people, from the fabled diamond city of Golconda to the fabulously rich heiress Evalyn McLean.

Synopsis:

< P> The true story behind the most famous& ndash; and infamous& ndash; stone in the world. < /P> < P> The Hope diamond is not only exceptionally beautiful it has a long and incredibly colorful history. That history & ndash; spread over three continents & ndash; features diamond mining in India, the French Revolution, the machinations of British King George IV, the Gilded Age in America and a number of very clever jewelers including Pierre Cartier and Harry Winston. In the 20th century, the myth of the Hope diamond curse made the diamond more notorious and famous than ever before, but it is only one small piece of a long and lustrous history.< /P> < P> Dr. Kurin, who is a cultural anthropologist, has spent over a decade on the trail of the Hope, from India, to France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and England. His narrative is filled with fascinating places and people & ndash; from the fabled diamond city of Golconda to the fabulously rich heiress Evalyn McLean to Jackie Kennedy and her pivotal role in one of the Hope's few 20th century trips abroad.< /P>

Synopsis:

The true story behind the most famous–and infamous–stone in the world.

The Hope diamond is not only exceptionally beautiful it has a long and incredibly colorful history. That history – spread over three continents – features diamond mining in India, the French Revolution, the machinations of British King George IV, the Gilded Age in America and a number of very clever jewelers including Pierre Cartier and Harry Winston. In the 20th century, the myth of the Hope diamond curse made the diamond more notorious and famous than ever before, but it is only one small piece of a long and lustrous history.

Dr. Kurin, who is a cultural anthropologist, has spent over a decade on the trail of the Hope, from India, to France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and England. His narrative is filled with fascinating places and people – from the fabled diamond city of Golconda to the fabulously rich heiress Evalyn McLean to Jackie Kennedy and her pivotal role in one of the Hope's few 20th century trips abroad.

About the Author

Dr. Richard Kurin is the director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage where he oversees the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and other cultural heritage programs. A former Fulbright fellow with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, he is the author of Reflections of a Culture Broker: A View from the Smithsonian. Dr. Kurin has been awarded the Smithsonian Secretary's Gold Medal for Exceptional Service and the American Folklore Society's Botkin Prize for lifetime achievement.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060873516
Subtitle:
The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem
Author:
Kurin, Richard
Publisher:
Smithsonian
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Jewelry
Subject:
Diamonds
Subject:
Hope diamond
Subject:
General History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20060509
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.25 in 23.04 oz

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Related Subjects

Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Gems
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Jewelry » Collecting

Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780060873516 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this authoritative history of the Hope Diamond (also known as the French Blue), Kurin describes how the 112 — carat deep blue diamond came into the hands of Louis XIV through diamond trader Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who in turn had bought it from an Indian mine. (Although rumors persist that Tavernier took the gem from the eye of a Hindu idol, Kurin says there's no evidence to support this action — Tavernier was a respected dealer.) The diamond was recut (reducing its size by half) and kept by the French monarchy until it was stolen during the revolution. It resurfaced, unrecognizable after being cut again, in the possession of London merchant Daniel Eliason in 1812. Some years later, it came into the hands of Henry Phillip Hope, was inherited by his wife and sold to several other owners, before being donated in 1958 to the Smithsonian Institution. There its mystique is grounded by 'scientific discourse' and study. During his chronicle, the author, director of the Smithsonian's national programs, describes the history of the diamond trade, how precious stones were classified, the long-circulating myth that a curse was attached to the Hope diamond and royal politics of the times, for a serious but fascinating look at cultural and gemological history. B&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , The author, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National programs, has spent more than a decade on the trail of the history of the Hope Diamond. His narrative is filled with fascinating places and people, from the fabled diamond city of Golconda to the fabulously rich heiress Evalyn McLean.
"Synopsis" by , < P> The true story behind the most famous& ndash; and infamous& ndash; stone in the world. < /P> < P> The Hope diamond is not only exceptionally beautiful it has a long and incredibly colorful history. That history & ndash; spread over three continents & ndash; features diamond mining in India, the French Revolution, the machinations of British King George IV, the Gilded Age in America and a number of very clever jewelers including Pierre Cartier and Harry Winston. In the 20th century, the myth of the Hope diamond curse made the diamond more notorious and famous than ever before, but it is only one small piece of a long and lustrous history.< /P> < P> Dr. Kurin, who is a cultural anthropologist, has spent over a decade on the trail of the Hope, from India, to France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and England. His narrative is filled with fascinating places and people & ndash; from the fabled diamond city of Golconda to the fabulously rich heiress Evalyn McLean to Jackie Kennedy and her pivotal role in one of the Hope's few 20th century trips abroad.< /P>
"Synopsis" by , The true story behind the most famous–and infamous–stone in the world.

The Hope diamond is not only exceptionally beautiful it has a long and incredibly colorful history. That history – spread over three continents – features diamond mining in India, the French Revolution, the machinations of British King George IV, the Gilded Age in America and a number of very clever jewelers including Pierre Cartier and Harry Winston. In the 20th century, the myth of the Hope diamond curse made the diamond more notorious and famous than ever before, but it is only one small piece of a long and lustrous history.

Dr. Kurin, who is a cultural anthropologist, has spent over a decade on the trail of the Hope, from India, to France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and England. His narrative is filled with fascinating places and people – from the fabled diamond city of Golconda to the fabulously rich heiress Evalyn McLean to Jackie Kennedy and her pivotal role in one of the Hope's few 20th century trips abroad.

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