An Island at the Crossroads of History

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0812995198

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 3777


Critically acclaimed author John Julius Norwich weaves the turbulent story of Sicily into a spellbinding narrative that places the island at the crossroads of world history. “Sicily,” said Goethe, “is the key to everything.” It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the link between the Latin West and the Greek East. Sicily’s strategic location has tempted Roman emperors, French princes, and Spanish kings. The subsequent struggles to conquer and keep it have played crucial roles in the rise and fall of the world’s most powerful dynasties. Yet Sicily has often been little more than a footnote in books about other empires. John Julius Norwich’s engrossing narrative is the first to knit together all of the colorful strands of Sicilian history into a single comprehensive study. Here is a vivid, erudite, page-turning chronicle of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a Greek city-state to its emergence as a multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, from the rebellion against Italian unification to the rise of the Mafia, the story of Sicily is rich with extraordinary moments and dramatic characters. Writing with his customary deftness and humor, Norwich outlines the surprising influence Sicily has had on world history—the Romans’ fascination with Greek civilization dates back to their sack of Sicily—and tells the story of one of the world’s most kaleidoscopic cultures in a galvanizing, contemporary way. This volume has been a long time coming—Norwich began to explore Sicily’s colorful history during his first visit to the island in the early 1960s. The dean of popular historians leads his readers through the millennia with the steady narrative hand of a master teacher or the world’s most learned tour guide. Like the island itself, Sicily is a book brimming with bold flavors that begs to be revisited again and again. Praise for Sicily “Suavely readable . . . The very model of a popular historian, [Norwich] writes to give pleasure to the common reader. And what pleasure it is.”—The Wall Street Journal “Entertaining on every page . . . There is something ancient and sorrowful in Sicily, ‘some dark, brooding quality,’ just as captivating as its spellbinding history or its beautiful and varied landscapes, from beaches to lemon groves, pine forests to volcanoes. . . . The most amiable and freewheeling of guides, Norwich will always find time for the amusing anecdote.”—The Sunday Times “Utterly engrossing . . . written with passion about the art and architecture of this magical island, filled with gossipy tidbits and sweeping historical theories.”—The Daily Beast “Dazzling . . . Norwich is an elegantly graceful and entertaining storyteller.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch “Charming . . . richly nuanced history relayed with enormous fondness.”—Kirkus Reviews “A brisk and always-lively tour.”—Open Letters Monthly “Norwich is deeply in love with Sicily. [His] boundless affection has inspired a determined effort to understand its painful past. The result is impressionistic, as love often is.”—The Times “Norwich sketches personalities vividly. . . . He does the island and the reader a generous service in providing such an amiable introduction.”—The Sunday Telegraph “Norwich tells [Sicily’s] long, sad but fascinating story with sympathy and brio.”—Literary Review From the Hardcover edition.

The Normans in Sicily

The Normans in the South 1016-1130 And, The Kingdom in the Sun 1130-1194

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Penguin Global

ISBN: 9780140152128

Category: History

Page: 793

View: 5932


This omnibus volume is made up of John Julius Norwich's first two works of history published 20 years ago - The Normans in the South and The Kingdom in the Sun. The books tell the story of the dazzling Norman kingdom of Sicily founded in the 11th century by an enterprising band of adventurers from Normandy under Robert Guiscard. The state they founded was outstanding in medieval civilization.

The Twelve Days of Christmas


Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Atlantic

ISBN: 9781848877085

Category: Christmas stories

Page: 38

View: 9179


My dearest darling- That partridge, in that lovely little pear tree! What an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you and thank you. Your deeply loving Emily Everyone knows the 'Twelve days of Christmas', but not as rewritten by John Julius Norwich in this delightful correspondence, which records the daily thank-you letters from one increasingly bemused young lady to her unseen admirer. And who but Quentin Blake could exploit the full comic possibilities of this hilarious debacle as first birds, then maids and finally the full percussion section of the Liverpool Philharmonic create mayhem in the calm of an English country Christmas?

Treasures of Britain

The Architectural, Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Britain

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393057409

Category: Travel

Page: 704

View: 4780


Offers alphabetical listings of more than two thousand locations, including gardens, historic houses, museums, and natural sites.

Love in the Ancient World

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

ISBN: 9781841880105

Category: History

Page: 176

View: 7653


Travel back in time in search of long-lost attitudes on love, lust, and passion. Beautifully illustrated in full color, this fascinating exploration uncovers how ancient civilizations regarded sex and sexuality. Exquisite photographs showcase sculpture, pottery, paintings, and architecture that feature graphic representations of the human form and the art of love. Seeing how romance was represented, communicated, and mythologized from the cave dwellers through the sophisticated Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans gives us new perspectives on history and on our lives today.

Paradise of Cities

Nineteenth-century Venice Seen Through Foreign Eyes

Author: John Julius Norwich

Publisher: Viking Adult

ISBN: 9780670894017

Category: Intellectuals

Page: 283

View: 1858


Looking up from the end point of Norwich's history of Venice, this book looks at Venice's many distinguished vistors. Luminaries such as Lord Byron, John Ruskin, George Sand and Alfred de Musset, Edward Lear, Turner and Robert Browning all spent time in Venice and left fascinating and vivid accounts of their time there.

The Girl With The Widow's Peak

The Memoirs

Author: Ursula d’Abo

Publisher: Loose Chippings

ISBN: 1907991107

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 192

View: 9321


Reflections on thought-provoking quotations to stimulate and guide those who are interested by life's challenges. Living life can be a challenge. Which path should I follow? How should I respond? What should I do? Many similar questions face us almost daily, whether it is to do with our job, our relationships or life itself. In 'Walk With The Wise' Tim Binder and Ron Owen take thought-provoking quotations and offer their own ideas to stimulate and guide those who wish to understand life's challenges. Tim and Ron are used to helping people to make decisions regarding their lives; they have been mentors and life coaches over many years. They do not dish out answers, rather they assist people to ask themselves relevant questions, perhaps see life a little differently and find the answers which are right for them.

Coffee with Michelangelo

Author: James Hall

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company

ISBN: 9781844835119

Category: Fiction

Page: 144

View: 2984


Presents a fictionalized interview with Michelangelo, where the extraordinary artist discusses his life, his art, and his times.