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The Middle Sea

A History of the Mediterranean

Viscount John Julius Norwich

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Pimlico
01 September 2007
The Mediterranean has nurtured three of the most dazzling civilisations of antiquity, witnessed the birth or growth of three of our greatest religions and links three of the world's six continents. To the peoples living around its periphery, it has served at various times as a cradle and a grave, a bond and a barrier, a blessing and a battlefield. It has inspired writers from Homer and Virgil to Norman Douglas and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Geographically, it is unlike any other sea in the world; in historical importance also, it stands alone. John Julius Norwich has visited every country around its shores; he has written histories of Norman Sicily, of Venice and of Byzantium. Now at last he tells the story of the Middle Sea itself - a story that begins with the Phoenicians and the Pharaohs and ends with the Treaty of Versailles. He takes us through the Arab conquests of Syria and North Africa; the Holy Roman Empire and the Crusades; Ferdinand and Isabella and the Spanish Inquisition; the great sieges of Rhodes and Malta by the Sultan S leyman the Magnificent; the pirates of the Barbary Coast and the Battle of Lepanto; Nelson and Napoleon; the Greek War of Independence and the Italian Risorgimento. The story ends with the tragic Gallipoli campaign and the war in the desert which brought fame to the enigmatic T.E. Lawrence. Today we sometimes see the Mediterranean principally as a playground- waters once stained with blood are polluted with cruise ships and suntan oil. Is this progress? Who knows. But the Middle Sea must never be taken for granted; and no reader of this book will ever do so again.
By:   Viscount John Julius Norwich
Imprint:   Pimlico
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 31mm
Weight:   515g
ISBN:   9781844133086
ISBN 10:   1844133087
Pages:   688
Publication Date:   01 September 2007
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

John Julius Norwich is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, of the Republic of Venice and of the Byzantine Empire. He has also written on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and has presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television. He is now working on a volume of memoirs.Formerly Chairman of Colnaghi - the oldest fine art dealers in London - he remains Chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund and the World Monuments Fund in Britain. For twenty-five years he was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Trust, and has also served on the Boards of the English National Opera and the London Library. He is a regular lecturer on history, art history, architecture and music, and is an enthusiastic night-club pianist.

Reviews for The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean

Norwich is a superb narrative historian...With Norwich on the Mediterranean we sense that we are accompanied by an old friend. You can take your Blue Guide, or your Rough Guide, anywhere you like; but if you are planning to go anywhere south of the Alps and north of the Sahara...this is your book -- Jason Goodwin Literary Review An expertly paced, occasionally exhilarating read. It may even prove a landmark in popular history-telling...a splendid achievement for its memorable scope and vitality... This wonderfully riveting history reveals our favourite holiday destination in all its glorious, epic depth -- Jeremy Seal Sunday Telegraph He spices his narrative liberally with entertaining anecdotes, deft portraits and brisk judgements... Lord Norwich's control of his vast and complex subject matter is masterly. And the subject matter itself is a colourful as history can get The Economist Infectiously enthusiastic Scotsman


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