Paradise of Cities by John Julius Norwich
Venice In the 19th Century

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John Julius Norwich’s A History of Venice has been dubbed “indispensable” by none other than Jan Morris. Now, in his second book on the city once known as La Serenissima, Norwich advances the story in this elegant chronicle of a hundred years of Venice’s highs and lows, from its ignominious capture by Napoleon in 1797 to the dawn of the 20th century.

An obligatory stop on the Grand Tour for any cultured Englishman (and, later, Americans), Venice limped into the 19th century–first under the yoke of France, then as an outpost of the Austrian Hapsburgs, stripped of riches yet indelibly the most ravishing city in Italy. Even when subsumed into a unified Italy in 1866, it remained a magnet for aesthetes of all stripes–subject or setting of books by Ruskin and James, a muse to poets and musicians, in its way the most gracious courtesan of all European cities. By refracting images of Venice through the visits of such extravagant (and sometimes debauched) artists as Lord Byron, Richard Wagner, and the inimitable Baron Corvo, Norwich conjures visions of paradise on a lagoon, as enduring as brick and as elusive as the tides.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About John Julius Norwich

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John Julius Norwich is one of Britain's preeminent historians and travel writers. He has written the histories of Norman Sicily, Byzantium, Venice, and the Mediterranean. Other books have been on Shakespeare's history plays, on music, and on architecture.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 400 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Norwich recalls how James created The Aspern Papers, a novella he considers the finest of all fictions set in his beloved city;

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Publishers Weekly

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By the end of the 19th century, Venice—conquered by Napoleon, handed over to the Austrians, plundered by the departing French troops, ruled by the Hapsburgs, and plundered again by the Austr

Aug 04 2003 | Read Full Review of Paradise of Cities: Venice In...

The Guardian

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Paradise of Cities: Venice and its Nineteenth-Century Visitors by John Julius Norwich 304pp, Viking, £20 "So now, thank God, Venice is no longer a mere word to me, an empty name," Goethe wrote in his journal on his arrival in the city on September 28 1786.

Jun 28 2003 | Read Full Review of Paradise of Cities: Venice In...

Publishers Weekly

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Nevertheless, Venice continued to fascinate travelers, and in this gracefully written book, Norwich (A History of Venice) attempts to portray the city through the eyes of some of its famous visitors of the period.

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