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City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire

Roger Crowley



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Faber & Faber
01 September 2012
History; European history; Early history: c 500 to c 1450&1500
A magisterial work of gripping history, City of Fortune tells the story of the Venetian ascent from lagoon dwellers to the greatest power in the Mediterranean - an epic five hundred year voyage that encompassed crusade and trade, plague, sea battles and colonial adventure. In Venice, the path to empire unfolded in a series of extraordinary contests - the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, the fight to the finish with Genoa and a desperate defence against the Turks.

Under the lion banner of St Mark, she created an empire of ports and naval bases which funnelled the goods of the world through its wharfs. In the process the city became the richest place on earth - a brilliant mosaic fashioned from what it bought, traded, borrowed and stole. Based on firsthand accounts of trade and warfare, seafaring and piracy and the places where Venetians sailed and died, City of Fortune is narrative history at its finest.
By:   Roger Crowley
Imprint:   Faber & Faber
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 126mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   353g
ISBN:   9780571245956
ISBN 10:   0571245951
Pages:   432
Publication Date:   01 September 2012
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:

Roger Crowley read English at Cambridge before going to live in Istanbul. His first book, Constantinople was published in 2005 and was followed by Empires of the Sea, which was chosen as the Sunday Times History Book of the Year in 2008.

Reviews for City of Fortune: How Venice Won and Lost a Naval Empire

Praise for City of Fortune Crowley...writes with a racy briskness that lifts sea battles and sieges off the page, so much so that at times his sentences seem in danger of bursting their seams -- New York Times Book Review Roger Crowley chronicles the peak of Venice's past glory with Wordsworthian sympathy, supplemented by impressive learning and infectious enthusiasm. -- W all Street Journal 'Venice receives a stirring account from British historian Crowley...An action-packed political and military history. -- Kirkus Reviews Praise for Roger Crowley's Empires of the Sea Crowley has an astonishing gift for narration; his account is as exciting as any thriller. --John Julius Norwich, The Wall Street Journal Crowley's page-turner history . . . deserves to be this [season's] most recommended nonfiction book. . . . Rich in character, action, surprise, what transpired in those few desperate weeks is one of history's best and most thrilling stories. -- The Dallas Morning News [Crowley] offers exquisitely delicate insights and undulating descriptive passages. Yet in his descriptions of the battles, his prose is so taut and tense, it is impossible not to be caught up in the harrowing action. -- The Christian Science Monitor A masterly narrative that captures the religious fervor, brutality and mayhem of this intensive contest. -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Gripping . . . This is a rare combination of a history book that reads with the detail, insight and pace of a novel. -- The Tampa Tribune

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