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John Julius Norwich - Author

About the Author

John Julius Norwich is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire and, most recently, The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean. He has also written on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and has presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.

Featured books by John Julius Norwich

A History of England in 100 Places From Stonehenge to the Gherkin

A History of England in 100 Places From Stonehenge to the Gherkin

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/10/2011

From battlefield to sacred building, from castle to cottage, from the Bridgwater Canal to Blackpool Pier, historian John Julius Norwich tells the political, cultural, social, religious and economic story of England through one hundred key places you can still visit today.

Other books by John Julius Norwich

Venice A Traveller's Reader

Venice A Traveller's Reader

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2017

Henry James wrote of Venice: 'You desire to embrace it, to caress it, to possess it . . .' whereas Mark Twain found St Mark's 'so ugly . . . propped on its long row of thick-legged columns, its back knobbed with domes, it seems like a vast, warty bug taking a meditative walk'. Reactions to Venice have been, throughout the ages, astonishingly different. John Julius Norwich has put together a dazzling anthology, drawing on the writings of Byron, Goethe, Wagner, Casanova, Jan Morris, Robert Browning and Horace Walpole, among many others. The pieces range from the sixth century, when the early lagoon-dwellers lived 'like sea-birds in huts, built on heaps of osiers' to the exquisite city of eighteenth-century revellers and nineteenth-century art lovers. The city's many diferent guises are shown as both its citizens and visitors saw them. This wonderful volume from the Traveller's Reader series also contains maps, engravings and notes on history, art, architecture and everyday city life.

Sizilien

Sizilien

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: eBook Release Date: 10/06/2017

Mitreiend und elegant erzahlt John Julius Norwich die turbulente Geschichte der "e;Konigin der Inseln"e;, die ein einzigartiges Kaleidoskop der Volker und Kulturen war und ist. Unterhaltsam fuhrt er uns durch die Jahrtausende, in denen Sizilien im Brennpunkt der Weltgeschichte stand. Sizilien: die grote Insel des Mittelmeers, die Schwelle zwischen Europa und Afrika, Bindeglied zwischen dem lateinischen Westen und dem griechischen Osten. Ihre einzigartige strategische Lage lockte Phonizier, Griechen, Romer, Araber und Normannen, franzosische Fursten und spanische Konige. Die Kampfe um die Insel spielten fur den Aufstieg und Fall der machtigsten Dynastien der Welt eine Schlusselrolle. Erstmals verknupft John Julius Norwich all die bunten Faden der sizilianischen Geschichte zu einer umfassenden Darstellung und fuhrt die Leser durch die Jahrtausende. Von ihren Anfangen in der Antike bis zu ihrem Aufstieg zur multikulturellen Drehscheibe des Handels wahrend der Kreuzzuge, vom Widerstand gegen die Vereinigung mit Italien bis zum Aufkommen der Mafia ist die Insel reich an weltgeschichtlichen Ereignissen und dramatischen Personlichkeiten. Wie die Insel selbst, ist dies ein Buch voller kraftiger Farben und Aromen, das man immer wieder zur Hand nehmen mochte.

The Great Cities in History

The Great Cities in History

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/07/2016

A work of history, but also about art and architecture, trade and commerce, travel and exploration, economics and politics, this is above all a book about people and how, over the millennia, they have managed to live closely together. From the origins of urbanization in Mesopotamia to the global metropolises of today, great cities have marked the development of humankind - Babylon and Nineveh, Athens and Rome, Istanbul and Venice, Timbuktu and Samarkand, their very names are redolent both of history and romance. The Great Cities in History tells their story from early Uruk and Thebes to Jerusalem and Alexandria. Then the fabulous cities of the first millennium: Damascus and Baghdad in the days of the Caliphates, Teotihuacan and Maya Tikal in Central America, and Chang'an, capital of Tang Dynasty China. The medieval world saw the rise of powerful cities: Palermo and Paris in Europe, Benin in Africa and Angkor of the Khmer. In the early modern world, we journey to Islamic Isfahan and Agra, and Prague and Amsterdam in their heyday, before arriving at the phenomenon of the contemporary mega-city: London and New York, Tokyo and Barcelona, Los Angeles and Sao Paulo. A galaxy of more than fifty distinguished authors, including Jan Morris, Colin Thubron, Simon Schama, Orlando Figes, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Misha Glenny, Adam Zamoyski and A. N. Wilson, evoke the character of each place and explain the reasons for its success, seeing what each city would have been like during its golden age.

Sicily A Short History, from the Greeks to Cosa Nostra

Sicily A Short History, from the Greeks to Cosa Nostra

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/05/2016

'Sicily is the key to everything' Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The author of the classic book on Venice turns his sights to Sicily in this beautiful book full of maps and colour photographs. 'I discovered Sicily almost by mistake . . .We drove as far as Naples, then put the car on the night ferry to Palermo. There was a degree of excitement in the early hours when we passed Stromboli, emitting a rich glow every half-minute or so like an ogre puffing on an immense cigar; and a few hours later, in the early morning sunshine, we sailed into the Conca d'Oro, the Golden Shell, in which the city lies. Apart from the beauty of the setting, I remember being instantly struck by a change in atmosphere. The Strait of Messina is only a couple of miles across and the island is politically part of Italy; yet somehow one feels that one has entered a different world . . . This book is, among other things, an attempt to analyse why this should be.' The stepping stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation post, Sicily has been invaded and fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and the French for thousands of years. It has belonged to them all - and yet has properly been part of none. John Julius Norwich was inspired to become a writer by his first visit in 1961 and this book is the result of a fascination that has lasted over half a century. In tracing its dark story, he attempts to explain the enigma that lies at the heart of the Mediterranean's largest island. This vivid short history covers everything from erupting volcanoes to the assassination of Byzantine emperors, from Nelson's affair with Emma Hamilton to Garibaldi and the rise of the Mafia. Taking in the key buildings and towns, and packed with fascinating stories and unforgettable characters, Sicily is the book he was born to write.

Cities That Shaped the Ancient World

Cities That Shaped the Ancient World

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2014

Great cities marked the earliest development of civilization. From the world's first true cities, in Mesopotamia, to the spectacular urban centres of the Maya in Central America, the places described here represent almost three millennia of human history, society and culture. Arranged geographically into five sections, each with an introduction by John Julius Norwich, Cities That Shaped the Ancient World takes a global view, beginning in the Near East with the earliest cities such as Ur and Babylon, Troy and Jerusalem. Africa gave rise to the conurbations of ancient Egypt such as Thebes and Amarna, and also the Ethiopian capital of Aksum. Glorious European metropolises, including Athens and Rome, ringed the Mediterranean, but also stretched to Trier on the turbulent frontier of the Roman empire. Asia had bustling commercial centres such as Mohenjo-daro and Xianyang, while in the Americas the Mesoamerican and Peruvian cultures stamped their presence on the landscape, creating impressive monuments, as at Caral and Teotihuacan.

A Short History of Byzantium

A Short History of Byzantium

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2013

A Short History of Byzantium is renowned historian, and author of A History of Venice, John Julius Norwich's classic history of Byzantium Constantine the Great moved the seat of Roman power to Constantinople in AD 330 and for eleven brutal, bloody centuries, the Byzantine Empire became a beacon of grand magnificence and depraved decadence . . . Here then are the centuries dominated by ferocious arguments over the nature of Christ and his Church. By knowledge, where scholars and scribes preserved the heritage of the ancient world. By emperors like Justinian the Great and Basil the Bulgar-Slayer - men pious, heroic or monstrous. By creativity, as art and architecture soared to new heights. In this abridgement of his celebrated trilogy, John Julius Norwich provides the definitive introduction to the savage, scintillating world of Byzantium. 'Norwich has the gift of historical perspective, as well as clarity and wit. Few can tell a good story better than he' Spectator 'A real-life epic of love and war, accessible to anyone' Independent on Sunday 'Norwich tells a remarkable story with boundless zest. He offers character sketches of the appalling personages who infest his narrative . . . with the assurance of a Macauley or a Gibbon' Daily Telegraph John Julius Norwich was born in 1929. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and, after a spell of National Service in the Navy, at New College, Oxford, where he took a degree in French and Russian. In 1952 he joined the Foreign Service, where he remained for twelve years, serving at the embassies in Belgrade and Beirut. In 1964 he resigned from the service to write. He is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice and the Byzantine Empire. He has written and presented some thirty historical documentaries on television, and is a regular lecturer on Venice and numerous other subjects.

A History of Venice

A History of Venice

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/10/2012

Renowned historian, and author of A Short History of Byzantium, John Julius Norwich's classic history of Venice A History of Venice tells the story of this most remarkable of cities from its founding in the fifth century, through its unrivalled status for over a thousand years as one of the world's busiest and most powerful city states, until its fall at the hands of Napoleon in 1797. Rich in fascinating historical detail, populated by extraordinary characters and packed with a wealth of incident and intrigue, this is a brilliant testament to a great city - and a great and gripping read. 'Norwich has loved and understood Venice as well as any other Englishman has ever done' Sunday Times 'Will become the standard English work of Venetian history' Financial Times 'The standard Venetian history in English' The Times 'Norwich has the gift of historical perspective, as well as clarity and wit. Few can tell a good story better than he' Spectator John Julius Norwich was born in 1929. He was educated at Upper Canada College, Toronto, at Eton, at the University of Strasbourg and, after a spell of National Service in the Navy, at New College, Oxford, where he took a degree in French and Russian. In 1952 he joined the Foreign Service, where he remained for twelve years, serving at the embassies in Belgrade and Beirut. In 1964 he resigned from the service to write. He is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice and the Byzantine Empire. He has written and presented some thirty historical documentaries on television, and is a regular lecturer on Venice and numerous other subjects.

The Popes A History

The Popes A History

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2012

John Julius Norwich expertly examines the history of the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter to the present Of the 280-odd holders of the supreme office, some have unquestionably been saints; others have wallowed in unspeakable immorality. One was said to have been a woman, her sex being revealed only when she improvidently gave birth to a baby during a papal procession. Almost as shocking was Formosus whose murdered corpse was exhumed, clothed in pontifical vestments, propped up on a throne and subjected to trial. From the glories of Byzantium to the decay of Rome, from the Albigensian Heresy to controversy within the Church today, The Popes is superbly written, witty and revealing. `Charming and learned...The prose is elegant, the witticisms are plentiful, and the volume's enthusiasm is addictive.' Jonathan Wright, BBC History Magazine

The Kingdom in the Sun, 1130-1194

The Kingdom in the Sun, 1130-1194

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/03/2010

There were two Norman Conquests. John Julius Norwich is the consummate historian of the 'other' one: the conquest of Sicily. When on Christmas Day 1130 Roger de Hauteville was crowned first King of Sicily, the island entered a golden age. Norman and Italian, Greek and Arab, Lombard, Englishman and Jew all contributed to a culture that was as brilliant as it was cosmopolitan; and to an atmosphere of racial and religious toleration unparalleled in Europe. But sixty-four years later, to the day, the sun set on the Sicilian Kingdom. In this second volume of his history (The Normans in the South 1016-1130 is also in Faber Finds) Norwich describes the reigns of the grotesquely misnamed William the Bad and the Good and the bastard Tancred. We read, too, of St Bernard, magnetic but insufferable; of Adrian IV, the only English Pope; of Richard the Lionheart (behaving abominably in Messina); and other notables. This scintillating narrative history is also a superb traveller's guide, listing every Norman building extant on Sicily.

The Great Cities in History

The Great Cities in History

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/10/2009

From the origins of urbanization in Mesopotamia to the global metropolises of today, great cities have marked the development of human civilization. The Great Cities in History tells their stories, from Uruk and Memphis to Tokyo and Sao Paulo. A galaxy of distinguished contributors evoke the character of each place - its people, its art and architecture, its government - and explain the reasons for its success. Richly illustrated with photographs, paintings, maps and plans, this volume is nothing less that a portrait of world civilization.

The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean

The Middle Sea A History of the Mediterranean

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2007

An electrifying narrative history of the Mediterranean from Ancient Egypt to 1919, from the bestselling author of The Popes and Sicily: A Short History The Mediterranean has nurtured three of the most dazzling civilisations of antiquity, witnessed the growth of three of our greatest religions and links three of the world's six continents. John Julius Norwich has visited every country around its shores; now he tells the story of the Middle Sea - a tale that begins with the Pharaohs and ends with the Treaty of Versailles - in a dramatic account of the remarkable civilisations that rose and fell on the lands of the Mediterranean. Expertly researched and ingeniously executed, Norwich 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 Suleyman 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 Middle Sea is colourful, character-driven history at its most enjoyable and is the culmination of John Julius Norwich's distinguished career as one of the greatest enthusiasts for anecdotal history. `An expertly paced, exhilarating read....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' Sunday Telegraph

The Duff Cooper Diaries 1915-1951

The Duff Cooper Diaries 1915-1951

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/10/2006

The long awaited and highly revealing diaries of the politician, diplomat, and socialite (married to Lady Diana Cooper) Duff Cooper was a first-rate witness of just about every significant event from 1914 to 1950. His diary includes some magnificent set pieces - as a young soldier at the end of WWI, as a politician during the General Strike of 1926, as King Edward VIII's friend at the time of the Abdication, and from Paris after the liberation in 1944, when he became British ambassador. If Duff Cooper's name has dimmed in the 50 years since his death, publication of these diaries will bring him to the fore once again. His family have long resisted publication - indeed Duff Cooper's nephew, the publisher Rupert Hart-Davis, was so shocked by the sexual revelations that he suggested to John Julius Norwich that it might be best for all concerned if they were burnt. Now, superbly edited by John Julius Norwich, who familial link ensures all kinds of additional information as footnotes, these diaries join the ranks.

Byzantium The Apogee

Byzantium The Apogee

Author: John Julius Norwich Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/1993

In Byzantium: The Early Centuries John Julius Norwich told the epic tale of the Roman Empire's second capital up to Christmas Day AD 800 - when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as a rival emperor. This second volume of his magnificent history covers the following three centuries. In it he continues his compelling chronicle up to the coronation of the heroic Alexius Comnenus in 1081. The other two volumes in the trilogy, Byzantium: The Early Centuries and Byzantium: The Decline and Fall, are also published in Penguin.

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https://www.johnjuliusnorwich.com/artists.php

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