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Written in History: Letters that Changed the World - Simon Sebag Montefiore

Written in History: Letters that Changed the World - Simon Sebag Montefiore

Title: Written in History

Signed first edition, first printing

Author:  Simon Sebag Montefiore

ISBN:  9781474609180

Weight:  679 g



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Written in History by Simon Sebag Montefiore

A collection of the greatest letters in history, charting world-shaping events and revealing the unique personalities of some of history's most famous figures

Acclaimed historian Simon Sebag Montefiore selects over one hundred letters from ancient times to the twenty-first century: some are noble and inspiring, some despicable and unsettling; some are exquisite works of literature, others brutal, coarse and frankly outrageous; many are erotic, others heartbreaking.

The writers vary from Elizabeth I, Rameses the Great and Leonard Cohen to Emmeline Pankhurst, Mandela, Stalin, Michelangelo, Suleiman the Magnificent and unknown people in extraordinary circumstances – from love letters to calls for liberation, declarations of war to reflections on death.  In the colourful, accessible style of a master storyteller, Montefiore shows why these letters are essential reading: how they enlighten our past, enrich the way we live now – and illuminate tomorrow.

Peer & Press Reviews

Written in History is a search through the millennia, the result an astonishing array: all human life is here encapsulated, in just a few paragraphs or even just a sentence; all are surprising, and mostly unfamiliar… Everything here is a revelatory marvel, whether a hideous rant from the Marquis de Sade (1783), or the impassioned logic of religious tolerance from Babur to his son Hamayun (1529).  Truly the spectrum of human belief and behaviour is revealed in this selection.

Marina Vaizey, The Arts Desk

If you loved Ernst Gombrich’s A Little History of the World and are in the mood for another potted global history from a different angle, this collection of historically significant letters through the ages compiled by Simon Sebag Montefiore might well hit the spot.  …he has distilled a few millennia of world history into 240 extremely un-boring pages…  Sebag Montefiore has an eye for the spicy, the horrifying, the passionate and the shocking… very moving.

Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Times

Some [letters] are truly revolutionary and visionary…  Others are very personal…  …but all are fascinating, as are the compiler’s comments on each letter, little gems of potted history in their own right.

Tony Rennell, Daily Mail

Bibliographic Info

TitleWritten in History
Sub titleLetters that Changed the World
Book Features
Edition / printingFirst edition, first printing
Edition features

The main body of the book has 239 pages.

The front matter has an additional 15 pages:

Contents [5]
Introduction [10 ]

The back matter has a further 8 pages:

Acknowledgements [1]
Copyright Acknowledgements [7]

Overall conditionFine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)
SignedOn the title page
Book Stats
PublisherOrion Publishing Group
ImprintWeidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication date
Printed byCPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon
ISBN 139781474609180
ISBN 10147460918X
FormatHardcover with dust jacket
Pages239 [main body]
Size (h x w x d)223 x 143 x 27mm
Image and Design Credits
Author photographMarcus Leoni / Folhapress
Designed byHelen Crawford-White (StudioHelen)

Modern Signed Editions Ltd