Synopses & Reviews
An extraordinary chronicle of Venice, its people, and its grandeur
Thomas Maddenandrsquo;s majestic, sprawling history of Venice is the first full portrait of the city in English in almost thirty years. Using long-buried archival material and a wealth of newly translated documents, Madden weaves a spellbinding story of a place and its people, tracing an arc from the cityandrsquo;s humble origins as a lagoon refuge to its apex as a vast maritime empire and Renaissance epicenter to its rebirth as a modern tourist hub.
Madden explores all aspects of Veniceandrsquo;s breathtaking achievements: the construction of its unparalleled navy, its role as an economic powerhouse and birthplace of capitalism, its popularization of opera, the stunning architecture of its watery environs, and more. He sets these in the context of the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire, the endless waves of Crusades to the Holy Land, and the awesome power of Turkish sultans. And perhaps most critically, Madden corrects the stereotype of Shakespeareandrsquo;s money-lending Shylock that has distorted the Venetian character, uncovering instead a much more complex and fascinating story, peopled by men and women whose ingenuity and deep faith profoundly altered the course of civilization.
"This new volume in the Penguin History of Europe series is a wonderful achievement, particularly so considering the mammoth amount of specialist material that required synthesizing into digestible portions for general consumption. Blanning, professor of modern history at the University of Cambridge, has performed the miracle of balancing and blending traditional political and diplomatic accounts with the newer fields of social, economic and intellectual history. A prime example of this is the author's treatment of the impact of the new 'public sphere.' As people discoursed through coffeehouses, Masonic organizations or periodicals, 'a new source of authority emerged to challenge the opinion-makers of the old regime: public opinion.' Countries where this public sphere was left free, as in Britain or the Dutch Republic, tended to be more politically stable than, say, France, where suppression ended in bloody revolution. Blanning narrates the story of Europe from the end of the Thirty Years' War to the end of the Napoleonic wars, when secularization and the primacy of state sovereignty were recognized as the key attributes of the coming era. What the Europeans would eventually get was the secular, martial religion of nationalism. But this is the subject for a subsequent volume which will be hard-pressed to match this splendid one. (June 4)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The Pursuit of Glory, at 708 pages, is not a short read, but it is so well written that for those who love history, it is a page turner....The Pursuit of Glory is history writing at its glorious best." The New York Times
"[S]ucceeds in conveying both social topics and the topics of traditional history." Library Journal
The new volume in the acclaimed Penguin History of Europe series takes on the greater eighteenth century in all its revolutionary glory.
Here is an enormously entertaining, rich, and provocative account of a vivid and magnificent era in Europe's history. Tim Blanning has for many years been one of the foremost writers on the eighteenth century. The culmination of many years' work, The Pursuit of Glory is an accessible and enjoyable account of Europe from the end of the Thirty Years' War to the Battle of Waterloo an era of immense change and cultural, political, and technological ferment. Spanning the years 16481815, The Pursuit of Glory takes us from the Enlightenment through the French Revolution and Napoleonic era. As interested in the art and music of the period as in the great dynastic and revolutionary wars, as concerned with the lives of ordinary people as with the great rulers on horseback, The Pursuit of Glory turns a compelling spotlight on one of historys most unique and fascinating eras.
The new volume in the acclaimed Penguin History of Europe series takes on the greater 18th century in all its revolutionary glory.
In 1648, Europe was essentially a medieval society. By 1815, it was the powerhouse of the modern world. In exuberant prose, Tim Blanning investigates ?the very hinge of European history? (The New York Times
) between the end of the Thirty Y ears? War and the Battle of Waterloo that witnessed five of the modern world?s great revolutions: scientific, industrial, American, French, and romantic. Blanning renders this vast subject digestible and absorbing by making fresh connections between the most mundane details of life and the major cultural, political, and technological transformations that birthed the modern age.
About the Author
Tim Blanning is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge. His books include The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture
, The French Revolutionary Wars 1787-1802
, The Rise and Fall of the French Revolution
and The Pursuit of Glory
David Cannadine is Professor of History and Director of the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. He is the author of many acclaimed books including The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy, Class in Britain, and History in Our Time. He lives in London.
Table of Contents
The Pursuit of Glory
List of Illustrations
1. Europe in the era of Louis XIV
2. Europe in the eighteenth century
3. Europe in 1809
4. Europe in 1815
5. The Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy in the eighteenth century
Part One: Life and Death
3. Trade and Manufacturing
4. Agriculture and the Rural World
Part Two: Power
5. Rulers and Their Elites
6. Reform and Revolution
Part Three: Religion and Culture
7. Religion and the Churches
8. Court and Country
9. Palaces and Gardens
10. The Culture of Feeling and the Culture of Reason
Part Four: War and Peace
11. From the Peace of Westphalia to the Peace of Nystad
12. From the Peace of Nystad to the French Revolutionary Wars
13. The Wars of the French Revolution and Napoleon