Monday, 19 April 2010

New books released this week

Colour of Paradise, Kris Lane (Yale University Press)
In this history of the emerald, a gemstone revered in Islamic culture, the author traces the web of global trading networks that funnelled emeralds from South America to populous Asian capitals between the 16th and 18th centuries and reveals the conquest wars and forced labour regimes that accompanied their production.

The Highland Clans, Alistair Moffat (Thames & Hudson)
A history of the Highland clans of Scotland, from their Celtic origins to the coming of the Romans, through the great battles of Bannockburn and Flodden, to the Clearances and the present day.

A King’s Ransom, Simon Burrows (Continuum)
A biography of Charles Theveneau de Morande, one of the most important figures in pre-revolutionary France, who extorted the French monarchy, turned coat, and thereafter became France’s leading political spy in London during the War of American Independence and throughout the 1780s.

Poland: A History, Adam Zamoyski (Harper Press)
A full revision of the author’s classic history of Poland, first written in the 1980s, when the country was in a state of subjugation and its living culture survived only underground or in exile.

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