Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies
The Rise and Fall of States and Nations

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The inevitable demise of all nations is not a cheerful topic, but an undertone of calm acquiescence permeates "Vanished Kingdoms."
-WSJ online

Synopsis

An evocative account of fourteen European kingdoms-their rise, maturity, and eventual disappearance.

There is something profoundly romantic about lost civilizations. Europe's past is littered with states and kingdoms, large and small, that are scarcely remembered today, and while their names may be unfamiliar-Aragon, Etruria, the Kingdom of the Two Burgundies-their stories should change our mental map of the past. We come across forgotten characters and famous ones-King Arthur and Macbeth, Napoleon and Queen Victoria, right up to Stalin and Gorbachev-and discover how faulty memory can be, and how much we can glean from these lost empires. Davies peers through the cracks in the mainstream accounts of modern-day states to dazzle us with extraordinary stories of barely remembered pasts, and of the traces they left behind.

This is Norman Davies at his best: sweeping narrative history packed with unexpected insights. Vanished Kingdoms will appeal to all fans of unconventional and thought-provoking history, from readers of Niall Ferguson to Jared Diamond.

 

About Norman Davies

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Norman Davies is chairman of the history department, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, at the University of London. He has been a visiting professor at Columbia and McGill Universities.
 
Published January 5, 2012 by Penguin Books. 848 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Vanished Kingdoms
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Oct 09 2012

This is a monumental work, then, exhausting in its detail but never losing its sense either of the broader picture or the impact at the human level...

Read Full Review of Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise a... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Oct 09 2012

This is a monumental work, then, exhausting in its detail but never losing its sense either of the broader picture or the impact at the human level...

Read Full Review of Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise a... | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Henrik Bering on Jan 07 2012

The inevitable demise of all nations is not a cheerful topic, but an undertone of calm acquiescence permeates "Vanished Kingdoms."

Read Full Review of Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise a... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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