This lively and dramatic book brings roaring to life the grand sweep of 5,000 years of history in the cradle of civilization.A wonderfullyillustrated account of the civilizations that rose and fell on the lands bordering the Mediterranean, "The Middle Sea" represents the culmination of a great historian's unparalleled art and scholarship. John Julius Norwich provides brilliant portraits of the Phoenicians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the French, the Venetians, the Popes, and the pirates of the Gulf. Above all, he deftly traces the intermingling of ancient conflicts and modern sensibilities that shapes life today on the shores of the Middle Sea.
About the Author
Lady Diana Cooper was born on August 29th, 1892, daughter ostensibly of the son of the 8th Duke of Rutland, in fact of the Hon. Harry Cust. Defying all her mother's efforts to stop her, she became a nurse at Guy's Hospital during the First World War and married Alfred Duff Cooper, DSO, son of a surgeon from Norwich, who became one of the Second World War's key politicians. Her startling beauty resulted in her playing the lead in two silent films and then Max Reinhardt's The Miracle.
For the war effort, Diana converted their seaside cottage in Sussex into a small farm. In 1944, following the Liberation of Paris, the couple moved into the British Embassy, Paris. They then retired to a house at Chantilly just outside the city. After Duff's death in 1954, Diana remained there until 1960, when she
moved back to London. She died in 1986.
John Julius Norwich, the only son of Diana and Duff Cooper, is the author of histories of the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire, the Mediterranean, and, most recently, "Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy". He has also written on architecture, music, and the history plays of Shakespeare, and has presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.
"A sweeping saga of human turmoil . . . engagingly written on a grand scale by a master craftsman. . . . His witty asides are a constant delight." —Los Angeles Times“Norwich's history of the Mediterranean is a cause for celebration. . . . A demonstration of his unrivaled narrative skills. . . . No one planning a simple vacation by the wine-dark sea can afford to leave this book at home." —The Washington Post Book World"A sweeping history. . . . Highly readable. . . . Norwich's focus plays to his strengths." —The New Yorker"As colorful as history can get. . . . [Norwich] spices his narrative liberally with entertaining anecdotes, deft portraits, and brisk judgments.” —The Economist