Author: Matthew Kneale
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2018-05-15
"Kneale's account is a masterpiece of pacing and suspense. Characters from the city's history spring to life in his hands." —The Sunday Times (London) Novelist and historian Matthew Kneale, a longtime resident of Rome, tells the story of the Eternal City—from the early Roman Republic through the Renaissance and the Reformation to Mussolini and the German occupation in World War Two—through pivotal moments that defined its history. Rome, the Eternal City. It is a hugely popular tourist destination with a rich history, famed for such sites as the Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s, and the Vatican. In no other city is history as present as it is in Rome. Today visitors can stand on bridges that Julius Caesar and Cicero crossed; walk around temples in the footsteps of emperors; visit churches from the earliest days of Christianity. This is all the more remarkable considering what the city has endured over the centuries. It has been ravaged by fires, floods, earthquakes, and—most of all—by roving armies. These have invaded repeatedly, from ancient times to as recently as 1943. Many times Romans have shrugged off catastrophe and remade their city anew. Matthew Kneale uses seven of these crisis moments to create a powerful and captivating account of Rome’s extraordinary history. He paints portraits of the city before each assault, describing what it looked like, felt like, smelled like and how Romans, both rich and poor, lived their everyday lives. He shows how the attacks transformed Rome—sometimes for the better. With drama and humor he brings to life the city of Augustus, of Michelangelo and Bernini, of Garibaldi and Mussolini, and of popes both saintly and very worldly. He shows how Rome became the chaotic and wondrous place it is today. Rome: A History in Seven Sackings offers a unique look at a truly remarkable city.
Author: Matthew Kneale
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Release Date: 2017-10-19
Daily Telegraph's Best History Books of 2017 Sunday Times' Best History Books of 2017 Nominated for the 2017 Pen Hessell-Tiltman A sweeping history of the city of Rome, seen through the eyes of its most significant sackings, from the Gauls to the Nazis and everything in between. No city on earth has preserved its past as Rome has. Visitors can cross bridges that were crossed by Cicero and Julius Caesar, explore temples visited by Roman emperors, and step into churches that have hardly changed since popes celebrated mass in them sixteen centuries ago. These architectural survivals are all the more remarkable considering the many disasters that have struck the city. Rome has been afflicted by earthquakes, floods, fires and plagues, but most of all it has been repeatedly ravaged by roving armies. From the Gauls to the Nazis, Matthew Kneale tells the stories behind the seven most important of these attacks and reveals, with fascinating insight, how they transformed the city - and not always for the worse. Using this entirely new approach to Rome's past he unveils how it became the city it is today. A meticulously researched, magical blend of travelogue, social and cultural history, Rome: A History in Seven Sackings is a celebration of the fierce courage, panache and vitality of the Roman people. Most of all, it is a passionate love letter to this incomparable city. 'A masterpiece of pacing and suspense' Sunday Times 'Fascinating... A delight' The Times 'Book of the Week'
Narrated by over twenty distinct voices and full of dangerous humour, English Passengers combines wit, adventure and historical detail in a mesmerizing display of storytelling. When Captain Illiam Quillian Kewley and his band of smugglers have their contraband confiscated they are forced to put their ship, Sincerity, up for charter. The only takers are two Englishmen, the Reverend Geoffrey Wilson, who believes that the Garden of Eden was on the island of Tasmania, and Dr. Thomas Potter who is developing his sinister thesis concerning the races of man. Meanwhile an aboriginal in Tasmania, Peevay, recounts his people's struggles against the invading British. As the English passengers haplessly approach his land, their bizarre notions ever more painfully at odds with reality, we know a mighty collision is looming. From the Trade Paperback edition.
What first prompted prehistoric man, sheltering in the shadows of deep caves, to call upon the realm of the spirits? And why has belief thrived since, shaping thousands of generations of shamans, pharaohs, Aztec priests and Mayan rulers, Jews, Buddhists, Christians, Nazis, and Scientologists? As our dreams and nightmares have changed over the millennia, so have our beliefs. The gods we created have evolved and mutated with us through a narrative fraught with human sacrifice, political upheaval and bloody wars. Belief was man's most epic labor of invention. It has been our closest companion, and has followed mankind across the continents and through history.
In the summer of 1849, cholera threatens the city and the people of London. The authorities send millions of gallons of sewage cascading into the Thames - for many Londoners the only source of drinking water. Joshua Jeavons, a young and idealistic engineer, embarks on an obsessive quest to find the cause of the epidemic. As he labours in a fog of incomprehension, his domestic life is troubled by the baffling coldness of his beautiful bride, Isobella. But when she suddenly disappears, his desperate search for her takes him to a netherworld of slum-dwellers, pickpockets and scavengers of subterranean London.
"Following the fractured origins and destines of two brothers named after demigods from the ancient epic the Mahabharata, we meet a family struggling with the reverberations of the past in their lives. These ten interlinked stories redraw the map of our world in surprising ways: following an act of violence, a baby girl is renamed after a Hindu goddess but raised as a Muslim; a lonely butcher from Angola finds solace in a family of refugees in New Jersey; a gentle entomologist, in Sri Lanka, discovers unexpected reserves of courage while searching for his missing son"--Amazon.com.
Author: John Pemble
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-11-23
For a thousand years, Rome was enshrined in myth and legend as the Eternal City. No Grand Tour would be complete without a visit to its ruins. But from 1870 all that changed. A millennium ended as its solitary moonlit ruins became floodlit monuments on traffic islands, and its perimeter shifted from the ancient nineteen-kilometre wall with twelve gates to a fifty-kilometre ring road with thirty-three roundabouts and spaghetti junctions. The Rome We Have Lost is the first full investigation of this change. John Pemble musters popes, emperors, writers, exiles, and tourists, to weave a rich fabric of Roman experience. He tells the story of how, why, and with what consequences that Rome, centre of Europe and the world, became a national capital: no longer central and unique, but marginal and very similar in its problems and its solutions to other modern cities with a heavy burden of 'heritage'. This far-reaching book illuminates the historical significance of Rome's transformation and the crisis that Europe is now confronting as it struggles to re-invent without its ancestral centre -- the city that had made Europe what it was, and defined what it meant to be European.
Author: Matthew Kneale
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 2008
Nine-year-old Lawrence is the man in his family, watching protectively over his mother and his wilful little sister Jemima. When the three of them suddenly move to Rome it seems at first to be a great adventure: a long drive through the night to the city of popes and emperors. But as his mother's behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, and the threat that had forced them to Italy seems to have followed them there, Lawrence's excitement at his new surroundings gives way to something far harder to endure. Told in the engaging voice of Lawrence, this haunting psychological novel powerfully evokes all the feelings of childhood - the triumphs, the jealousies, the fears, the possessions, and most of all, the love. 'Heartbreakingly moving . . . Full of restraint and artistic integrity, this is a poignant, haunting and lovely novel' Joanna Briscoe, Guardian 'The road trip is narrated by Lawrence with insight, humour and sweetly erratic spelling . . . The fragility of a family is sensed beautifully' Financial Times 'I believed in Lawrence as a character. His voice is skilfully realised, to the extent that I felt I could actually hear it . . . I cried at the end' Irish Times
The author of the award-winning novel English Passengers takes readers around the world in twelve deftly crafted stories that illuminate the uncertainties of life at home and abroad. Matthew Kneale received high praise for the prize-winning English Passengers, an epic romp on the high seas and across nineteenth-century cultures, ingeniously woven together by a multitude of narrators. In Small Crimes In An Age of Abundance, Kneale brings his mastery of storytelling to our present morally ambiguous world. Set in lands ranging from England to China, South America, the Middle East, and Africa, these powerfully themed stories follow ordinary people as they try to survive and make sense of their worlds. We follow a well-intentioned English family who leave their tour group in China to travel alone, and collide with the ruthless side of the country, slowly becoming complicit in its violence; a ploddingly respectable London lawyer who chances upon a stash of cocaine and realizes it offers the wealth and status he hungers for; a salesman in Africa who becomes caught up in a riot that turns his life upside down; a self-doubting suicide bomber. Kneale transports readers across continents in a nanosecond, reaching to the heart of faraway societies with rare perceptiveness. As the stories gain momentum — tense, funny, and always compassionate — they make readers see the world in a new way. At times reminiscent of Julian Barnes’s A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, at times Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table, Small Crimes In An Age of Abundance is a groundbreaking book, by a master narrator of the uncertainties of our time. From the Hardcover edition.
A wise, passionate account of the pleasures of travelling solo In our increasingly frantic daily lives, many people are genuinely fearful of the prospect of solitude, but time alone can be both rich and restorative, especially when travelling. Through on-the-ground reporting and recounting the experiences of artists, writers, and innovators who cherished solitude, Stephanie Rosenbloom considers how being alone as a traveller--and even in one's own city--is conducive to becoming acutely aware of the sensual details of the world--patterns, textures, colors, tastes, sounds--in ways that are difficult to do in the company of others. Alone Time is divided into four parts, each set in a different city, in a different season, in a single year. The destinations--Paris, Istanbul, Florence, New York--are all pedestrian-friendly, allowing travelers to slow down and appreciate casual pleasures instead of hurtling through museums and posting photos to Instagram. Each section spotlights a different theme associated with the joys and benefits of time alone and how it can enable people to enrich their lives--facilitating creativity, learning, self-reliance, as well as the ability to experiment and change. Rosenbloom incorporates insights from psychologists and sociologists who have studied solitude and happiness, and explores such topics as dining alone, learning to savor, discovering interests and passions, and finding or creating silent spaces. Her engaging and elegant prose makes Alone Time as warmly intimate an account as the details of a trip shared by a beloved friend--and will have its many readers eager to set off on their own solo adventures.
Author: Phillip Barlag
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
Release Date: 2018-03-19
Genre: Rome (Italy)
Any travel guide to Rome will urge visitors to go the Colosseum, but none answers a simple question: Why is it called the Colosseum? The History of Rome in 12 Buildings: A Travel Companion to the Hidden Secrets of The Eternal City is compelling, concise, and fun, and takes you behind the iconic buildings to reveal the hidden stories of the people that forged the Roman Empire. Typical travel guides provide torrents of information but deny their readers depth and perspective. In this gap is the really good stuff--the stories that make the buildings come alive and vividly enhance any trip to Rome. The History of Rome in 12 Buildings will immerse you in the world of the Romans, one full of drama, intrigue, and scandal. With its help, you will be able to trace the rise and fall of the ancient world's greatest superpower: Find the last resting spot of Julius Caesar. Join Augustus as he offers sacrifices to the gods. Discover the lie on the fa�ade of the Pantheon. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus. And so much more.
Author: Simon Sebag Montefiore
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Release Date: 2018-10-04
WRITTEN IN HISTORY celebrates the great letters of world history, creative culture and personal life. Acclaimed historian Simon Sebag Montefiore selects over one hundred letters from ancient times to the twenty-first century: some are noble and inspiring, some despicable and unsettling; some are exquisite works of literature, others brutal, coarse and frankly outrageous; many are erotic, others heartbreaking. The writers vary from Elizabeth I, Rameses the Great and Leonard Cohen to Emmeline Pankhurst, Mandela, Stalin, Michelangelo, Suleiman the Magnificent and unknown people in extraordinary circumstances - from love letters to calls for liberation, declarations of war to reflections on death. In the colourful, accessible style of a master storyteller, Montefiore shows why these letters are essential reading: how they enlighten our past, enrich the way we live now - and illuminate tomorrow.
Author: Virginia Rounding
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2017-10-31
Smithfield, settled on the fringes of Roman London, was once a place of revelry. Jesters and crowds flocked for the medieval St Bartholomew's Day celebrations, tournaments were plentiful and it became the location of London's most famous meat market. Yet in Tudor England, Smithfield had another, more sinister use: the public execution of heretics. The Burning Time is a vivid insight into an era in which what was orthodoxy one year might be dangerous heresy the next. The first martyrs were Catholics, who cleaved to Rome in defiance of Henry VIII's break with the papacy. But with the accession of Henry's daughter Mary - soon to be nicknamed 'Bloody Mary' - the charge of heresy was leveled against devout Protestants, who chose to burn rather than recant. At the center of Virginia Rounding's vivid account of this extraordinary period are two very different characters. The first is Richard Rich, Thomas Cromwell's protégé, who, almost uniquely, remained in a position of great power, influence and wealth under three Tudor monarchs, and who helped send many devout men and women to their deaths. The second is John Deane, Rector of St Bartholomew's, who was able, somehow, to navigate the treacherous waters of changing dogma and help others to survive. The Burning Time is their story, but it is also the story of the hundreds of men and women who were put to the fire for their faith.
Author: Norman Lewis
Publisher: Open Road Media
Release Date: 2013-07-30
Now a documentary narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch: This memoir of the Italian city after Nazi occupation “sings like poetry” (ThePlain Dealer). As a young man with a gift for linguistics, Norman Lewis was assigned to the British Intelligence Corps’ Field Security Service, tasked with reforming civil services, dealing with local leaders, and keeping the peace in places World War II had devastated. After a near-disastrous Allied landing at Salerno, Italy, Lewis was stationed in the newly liberated city of Naples. But bringing the city back to life was unlike anything he had been prepared for. Much of the populace was far from grateful, stealing anything they could, not only from each other but also from those sent to help them. Local vendettas and endless feuds made discerning friend from Nazi collaborator practically impossible, and turned attempts at meting out justice into a farce. And as the deprivations grew ever harsher, a proud and vibrant people were forced to survive on a diet of prostitution, corruption, and a desperate belief in miracles, cures, and saviors. But even through the darkness and chaos, Lewis evokes the essential dignity of the Neapolitan people, their traditions of civility, courage, and generosity of spirit, and the indefatigable pride that kept them fighting for life during the greatest calamity in human history. And with his detached British wit, Lewis finds the absurdity in almost any situation. A masterpiece of a memoir, Naples ’44 is the heartbreaking, humorous, and starkly human account of the true cost of war as seen through the eyes of a young, untested man who would never again look at his world the same way.