Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (Paperback)
  • Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (Paperback)
zoom

Levant: Splendour and Catastrophe on the Mediterranean (Paperback)

(author)
£12.99
Paperback 480 Pages / Published: 29/09/2011
  • In stock online

Usually dispatched within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. Please check by using Click & Collect

Levant is a book of cities. It describes Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut when they were windows on the world, escapes from nationality and tradition, centres of wealth, pleasure and freedom.

Using unpublished family papers, Philip Mansel describes their colourful, contradictory history, from the beginning of the French alliance with the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century to their decline in the mid twentieth century. Smyrna was burnt; Alexandria Egyptianised; Beirut lacerated by civil war.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
ISBN: 9780719567087
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 335 g
Dimensions: 198 x 131 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Fascinating . . . the strengths of the book are colossal. Philip Mansel's knowledge of the history and culture of these places is encyclopaedic; he has walked their streets, met the scions of their famous families and penetrated their private archives. His eye for detail is sharp; telling anecdotes are culled from memoirs of all kinds, and the sights and smells of each city are vividly conjured up . . . To anyone who has read Mansel's Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, it will be sufficient to say: read this one too. To anyone who has not, I can only say: read both of them' * Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph *
'Excellent . . . thought-provoking . . . thoroughly researched . . . One of its strengths lies in the colourful quotations from letters, diaries and travel narratives' * Giles Milton, Literary Review *
'Philip Mansel's impressive return to the Middle East . . . Instead of composing an elegy on a once powerful civilisation, Mansel has given the Levantine world its chronicle, and restored its weight in history' * Jason Goodwin, Spectator *
'I could scarcely put down this magnificent book, with its galloping narrative, its worldly analysis, sparkling anecdotes and its unforgettable cast of the decadent, the cosmopolitan and the cruel' * Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Financial Times *
'With sober judgement but passionate feeling, Mansel has produced a work of formidable scholarship and subtlety, rich in colour, sights, personalities and horrifyingly abundant incident. Levant shows the destructivness of nationalism, offers precepts for the coexistence of Muslims, Christians and Jews and has wisdom and sensibility all of its own' * Richard Davenport-Hines, TLS *
'Philip Mansel's Levant . . . comes from the pen which, more sharply than any other, has delineated Istanbul. Here, with evocations of Smyrna, Alexandria and Beirut, all of which he knows well, Mansel gives us history, travel-writing and evocation of place with spare lack of sentimentality, but passionate intensity. The chapters on Beirut, in the light of what is continuing there to this sad hour, are especially poignant. Highly recommended' * A. N. Wilson, New Statesman *
'Elegiac' * Independent Christmas history round-up *
'An engrossing, historical tapestry' * Philip Adair, Scotsman *
'A highly enjoyable and intricately worked account of three great Mediterranean ports . . . [Mansel has] a sharp eye for detail and a deep understanding of the dynamics of traditional empires and societies' * The Economist *
'A masterly work . . . prodigious' * Independent *
'An excellent study' * Guardian *
'An enthralling history of Alexandria, Beirut and Smyrna, those vanished worlds of cosmopolitan high culture and society' * Daily Telegraph *

You may also be interested in...

Iran: Empire of the Mind
Added to basket
The Balfour Declaration
Added to basket
City of Lies
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
Storm Front
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
SAS Operation Storm
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Revolutionary Iran
Added to basket
Cuneiform
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Persian Expedition
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Inside the Kingdom
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
Babylon
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
Shah of Shahs
Added to basket
The Middle East
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
Palestine
Added to basket
£14.99
Paperback
The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
Added to basket
Lords Of The Horizons
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.