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In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Cultural History of Naples Hardcover – Jun 16 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris; 1 edition (June 16 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1850437645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1850437642
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,112,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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By A Customer on July 19 2005
Format: Hardcover
Congratulations to the author (Jordan Lancaster) who has filled an important gap with her cultural history of Naples! Books about Rome, Venice and Florence are legion but Naples, until now, has been sadly under-represented. This well-researched yet slender volume is a must-have for Italophiles everywhere. The fascinating story of this city of great contrasts will draw you in to a world of mythical and historical figures each playing a part against the magnificent backdrop of a menacing volcano.
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By A Customer on July 19 2005
Format: Hardcover
Long fascinated by the story of Pompeii and curious about the nearby city of Naples, I have finally found a book that is both informative and delightful to read. The author of the well-researched "In the Shadow of Vesuvius" takes us in a most engaging way through the history of Naples and the surrounding area from the classical myths to the present day. A must have for Italophiles!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful little book... Sept. 13 2005
By Margaret Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Lancaster has written a wonderful overview of the complex history of Naples. This book is particularly useful for anyone traveling to that incredible city as I did for the first time last year. It is neither a heavy historical work nor a too-light travel guide. Instead the book gives the reader both a historical background and an understanding of how Naples got to be the way it is today. Dr. Lancaster takes the reader from the days of the ancient Romans to the present time and keeps her narrative consistently interesting with quotes, asides and witty observations. She makes history vibrant and makes clear to the reader that the spell of Naples has fallen upon her as well. Again, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Italy's history. Reading it, one begins to understand both the splenor of Naples and its many problems and sorrows. I particularly recommend the book to anyone planning a trip there -- your experience will be greatly enriched by reading In the Shadow of Vesuvius.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating and enjoyable book May 15 2006
By Caroline - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully written biography of Naples. I found myself drawn into this book and could hardly put it down. Not only is it an enjoyable read, this book is well-suited for a wide audience -- from armchair travelers to academics. Despite its rich and fascinating story, Naples has long been overlooked as a subject in the English-speaking world. Having read numerous histories of Florence, Rome and Venice, I was excited to finally find a history of Naples. Kudos to Dr. Lancaster for so wonderfully bringing the story of Naples to life!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant June 25 2007
By Carlacara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is not a travel guide or a book for light reading; it is a wonderfully in-depth historical view of Naples, Italy, from its inception as a Greek colony to modern times. There is no other book like it. The author has done a masterful job of bringing insight and understanding to a potentially dense topic, mixing humor and wit with explanations of each of the many dynasties and powers that controlled Naples and made it a royal center comparable to Paris and London. If one is interested in knowing more about the history of Southern Italy, this book makes an excellent companion to a book by Tommaso Astarita: Between Salt Water And Holy Water: A History Of Southern Italy
4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Turgid Writing April 27 2006
By Charlie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While the subject is fascinating, the writing puts me to sleep. Phrases like "self taught enthusiast" make me want to stop reading, and the prose just doesn't flow. Finishing this book, if I do, will be a chore. I'd rather have my twenty bucks back; save yours. If I get to like this book better as I read, I'll revise my review.

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