The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
From SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLING author Bettany Hughes
‘A wondrous wonderful achievement’ Stephen Fry ‘Fascinating’ Observer ‘Thrilling’ Guardian
Their names still echo down the ages: The Great Pyramid at Giza. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Temple of Artemis. The statue of Zeus at Olympia. The mausoleum of Halikarnassos. The Colossus at Rhodes. The Lighthouse of Alexandria. The Seven Wonders of the World were staggeringly audacious impositions on our planet. They were also brilliant adventures of the mind, test cases for the reaches of human imagination. Now only the great pyramid remains fully standing, yet the scale and majesty of these seven wonders still enthral us today.
In a thrilling, colourful narrative enriched with the latest archaeological discoveries, bestselling historian Bettany Hughes walks through the landscapes of both ancient and modern time. This is a journey whose purpose is to ask why we wonder, why we create, why we choose to remember the wonder of others. She explores traces of the Wonders themselves, and the traces they have left in history. A magisterial work of historical storytelling, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World reinforces the exciting and nourishing notion that humans can make the impossible happen.
Bettany Hughes is the most perfect tour guide I know. Her boundless enthusiasm, clarity and learning combined with a matchless gift for storytelling bring the Wonders of the World leapingly alive. A wondrous wonderful achievement. * Stephen Fry * A thrilling armchair journey from a very wise woman. Bettany Hughes is the eighth wonder of the world. * Lucy Worsley, author of Agatha Christie * A lively exploration of the ancient world, this fascinating book is brimming with stories of people and places, all told with Bettany’s natural sense of wonder and adventure. * Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The World: A Family History * Taking us on a truly fascinating journey through the ancient world, Bettany Hughes not only rebuilds the wonders themselves in the reader’s imagination, but also vividly conjures up the culture and environment in which they existed. It is a tale of people as well as places, and I loved learning about what the wonders meant to those who built and visited them, their stories told by Bettany Hughes with trademark passion and humour. * Elodie Harper, author of The Wolf Den * This is an entrancing book, at once a love letter to the ancient world and a learned introduction to some of the most astonishing feats of imagination and engineering in human history. It is a pleasure to wander lost realms and inspect (mostly) vanished marvels through Bettany Hughes’ bright and erudite writing. * Dan Jones, author of Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages * So vividly written that it is as if the reader is there, discovering the Seven Wonders first hand. The stories behind them are endlessly fascinating, often surprising, and stay in the memory long after the last page has been turned. A dazzling achievement. * Tracy Borman * Every page of this generously illustrated travelogue yields a treasure house of information and reflection on Egyptian, Babylonian and Greek masterworks of architecture, urban planning and sculpture. * Paul Cartledge, author of Thebes: The Forgotten City of Ancient Greece * Informed by careful research and enriched by inspired prose, this book is itself a wonder. Bettany Hughes has given new and powerful meaning to the ancient world’s most iconic monuments. * James Romm, author of Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero * Thrilling, epic, exciting, Bettany Hughes’ gripping and scrupulously researched Seven Wonders takes you as if by magic to the great, lost sites of ancient genius, these incredible feats of human imagination and breadth. With skill, scholarship and brilliant writing, Bettany Hughes explores these majestic sites in detail. A magical, sweeping, dazzling book. * Kate Williams *
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