By Paul Strathern
Published in December 2013
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
This book is a very vivid history of the lives of key citizens of Venice throughout the city state’s history. It covers the lives of diverse Venetians such as the explorer Marco Polo, the neurotic womanizer Casanova, the mass production musician Vivaldi, or the devious politician Enrico Dandolo.
Each biography is short, to the point, and as action passes as possible. The book is never dreary, always highlighting the fantastic adventures of Venetians throughout history. You get to see the city evolve along with its most prominent figures.
As far as history books go, this is a very fun and fast paced read. I would caution, however, that some parts might be hard to follow without pre-existing historical knowledge. For those who want to go deep into Venetian history, I recommend this as a possible follow up for Thomas Madden’s new history of Venice. Some of the topics will be repeated, but they complement each other well.
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