A Stain in the Blood: The Remarkable Voyage of Sir Kenelm Digby (Paperback)
  • A Stain in the Blood: The Remarkable Voyage of Sir Kenelm Digby (Paperback)
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A Stain in the Blood: The Remarkable Voyage of Sir Kenelm Digby (Paperback)

(author)
£12.99
Paperback 576 Pages
Published: 02/03/2017
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY and THE ELIZABETH LONGFORD PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL BIOGRAPHY

'A thrilling account' The Times

'As heroic as Digby himself, Moshenska has defied the tyranny of genre and made his own absorbing account' Observer

'A master storyteller. Full of exquisite details, but with the grandest themes... this is a gripping adventure story' Zia Haider Rahman

'A brilliant account of one of the seventeenth century's most dashing lives' Ruth Scurr

'Gripping and extraordinary' Ann Wroe

On the 16th of August 1628, five battle-scarred English ships sailed into the harbour of the Greek island of Milos. Dropping anchor, the 25-year-old captain banqueted with the local lord before sitting down to write an account of his journey – an account that would transform him entirely.

Sir Kenelm Digby was one of the most remarkable Englishmen who ever lived: a trusted advisor to the King, but the sworn enemy of the all-powerful Duke of Buckingham; a pioneering philosopher and scientist, but committed to the occult arts of alchemy and astrology; a friend not only of Ben Jonson, Thomas Hobbes and van Dyck, but even Oliver Cromwell. He was also widely known as the ‘son of a traytor and husband of a whore’: a man who witnessed his father’s gruesome execution for high treason as a Gunpowder Plotter, and the lover of the most celebrated beauty of the age, Venetia Stanley.

In an attempt to clear his name, and on a quest for personal glory, Digby assembled a fleet and set sail for the Mediterranean: a world of pirate cities and ancient ruins where people, ideas and exotic goods moved freely between languages and nations. His journey – encompassing fevers, mutiny, piracy, daring rescues and heroic sea battles – is a great and terribly overlooked adventure, and a prism through which to view England, and all of Europe, during one of the most pivotal periods in its history.

A Stain in the Blood is the story of an extraordinary life, and of a journey that helped to shape a nation. It is a revelatory first work of non-fiction by one of the brightest young writers and thinkers of today.

Publisher: Cornerstone
ISBN: 9780099591764
Number of pages: 576
Weight: 487 g
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 43 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Joe Moshenska's wonderful book is an act of restoration. He mixes impressive scholarship with narrative flair to bring the young Digby back to vivid life. A thrilling account... sparkling… fascinating. - Michael Prodger, The Times

Combining the rigour and precision of the academic with the skills of a master storyteller, in this remarkable tale of one man, the author brings to life an important period of British and Mediterranean history. Full of exquisite details, but with the grandest themes – it has heroic love, it has religion and science, art and literature, power and politics – this is a gripping adventure story. - Zia Haider Rahman, author of In The Light of What We Know

Romance and adventure, piracy and alchemy – Kenelm Digby blazed through one of the most remarkable lives of the seventeenth century. With his engaging blend of scholarship and storytelling, Joe Moshenska takes us on the eye-opening tale of an extraordinary man's daring quest for fame, fortune, and knowledge on the treacherous seas of the Mediterranean. - Faramerz Dabhoiwala, author of The Origins of Sex

Gripping and extraordinary. - Ann Wroe

A brilliant account of one of the seventeenth century's most dashing lives. - Ruth Scurr, author of John Aubrey: My Own Life

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