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Lisbon: City of the Sea

A History

Lisbon: City of the Sea
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US$ 42.00
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Lisbon: city of the sea is a beautifully written portrait of a much loved city, from its origins in Greek legend to the present day. Malcolm Jack vividly captures the rich and unique history of this haunting and attractive port whose prominent position on the Tagus estuary has inextricablybound its character with the sea. Lisbon is a city of steep inclines and complicated, unsymmetrical streets that criss-cross the hills only in the Baixa area near the river and in the more modern, northern part of the city does any form of a grid system appear. It has enjoyed a political history that has directed Portugal’s focus more overseas than inland towards continental Europe, in part because of Spain’s geographical position. Thus the city has been stretched in one direction toward Brazil and in another toward the Cape of Good Hope and from there to Asia and the East. Beginning with its earliest inhabitants, Jack traces the city’s life through its imperial success in the sixteenth century and the devastating earthquake that humbled the city and shocked Europe in 1755 to its current position as a vibrant and successful European capital. Lisbon’s romantic atmosphere has captured the imaginations of foreigners through the ages._x000D_ Poets, writers and musicians have all drawn inspiration from different parts of Lisbon. This sensitive exploration of the city’s many aspects draws out its cosmopolitan nature, as well as its colourful culture and self-image and brings us closer to understanding its true spirit. Engaging and accessible, this book will appeal to Lisbon’s many visitors as well as anyone interested in European history._x000D_ _x000D_ ‘Malcolm Jack is a surefooted and erudite guide to the labyrinth of historical Lisbon. _x000D_ The city’s Moorish past, the age of discovery when Lisbon was the harbour from which the limits of the world were explored, the architectural splendours of the Manueline age, the desolation of the great earthquake of 1755, the Grand Tours of Beckford and Byron, the weird urban fantasies of Pessoa, the hauntingly nostalgic airs of fado _x000D_ - all are conjured up in this splendid book.’_x000D_ Robert Irwin, Historian, Arabist and novelist_x000D_ _x000D_ ‘A scholarly yet highly entertaining introduction to Lisbon. The author constantly draws on his extensive knowledge of contemporary travel literature but his main source of description and insight derives from his own, direct observation of all _x000D_ the nooks and crannies of old Lisbon and his unique ability to capture the spirit _x000D_ of the place. Recommended as essential reading for Lisbon lovers, prospective travellers, Lusophiles and others.’ _x000D_ Professor João Almeida Flor, University of Lisbon
I.B.Tauris; June 2007
237 pages; ISBN 9780857714411
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