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  • '1616': A Single Thrilling Year in a Changing World.

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Last Chance to buy! Lucky Dip Clearance. Modern Fiction. New Arrivals. Romance and Romantic Fiction. Scottish Books. Signed by the Author. Taschen books. War Memoirs. Word Books and Dictionaries. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Mar 29, Tony rated it really liked it Shelves: art , top , obscure-but-cool. A lot of stuff happened in the year Lots of stuff.

The Turks invaded Persia. England sent its first official ambassador to the Mughal court of Jahangir. Pocohantas came to England. The first African slaves were brought to the Bahamas. Pope Paul met with Galileo and welcomed a samurai in the Vatican. Japan nevertheless restricted most foreigners to the ports of Nagasaki and Hirado that year. The Jesuits were expelled from China. On April 23, , both Shakespeare and Cervantes died the sam A lot of stuff happened in the year On April 23, , both Shakespeare and Cervantes died the same date, but different days, since their countries used different calendars.

Domenico Belli's L'Orfeo Dolente premiered, perhaps the first true opera. Artemisia Gentileschi was admitted to the Academie del Disegno of Florence. There were revolts in Mexico, beheadings in Germany. Richelieu became secretary of state. On Christmas Day, the English royal court gathered to watch a masque, wherein Father Christmas made his first appearance.

Thomas Christensen says he woke up one day in with the date on his mind, come from nowhere. I doubt that, but it makes for a good story. And Christensen certainly has an ear and eye for a good story. Some I knew, some I should have known. This is worth the read, if only for how Christensen tells the Artemisia story. I mean, this is not just an Art book.

I looked at her Susanna and the Elders , fresh with her life story in my mind: Male painters, even Rembrandt, just don't understand the violation: I had put this down for awhile, just reading other things. Last read before I picked this up again was Lolly Willowes , which, it turned out, was about a woman who decides she's a witch.

Such are the reading gods. In , Johannes Kepler was using whatever influence he had to keep his mother from the stake. The indictment against her included charges that she gave herbal drinks to sicken neighbors, that children died from her touch, that cattle and pigs fell in her presence, that she questioned the idea of heaven, that she was known to pass through locked doors, and that she attempted to make a drinking vessel out of her own father's skull. That last one, at least, was true. This was his favorite portrait of himself, painted by Arcimboldo: He ceded power in and died within a year.

After a series of succession, Christensen tells us, "all hell broke loose. Restive Bohemian Protestants called a diet to press the new king for guaranteed religious rights. Ferdinand forbade the diet from meeting. It assembled anyway A deputation marched to Hradshin Castle and confronted the king's regents, demanding an explanation for the diet having been declared illegal.

Dissatisfied with the response, the delegates seized the two regents and their secretary and threw them out an upper-story window. Landing in a mound of manure, all three survived. Catholics subsequently claimed the three men had been saved by the intervention of angels, while Protestants attributed their survival to the horse dung into which they fell. The grotesque incident, know as the Defenestration of Prague, is traditionally marked as the beginning of the Thirty Years War. Pictures don't lie.

Nor does this one: We learn that Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah comes in a direct line from Kepler's quest to uncover the secret of celestial harmony - that secret chord which pleased the Lord. Did you know there are at least covers of Hallelujah? Anybody have a favorite? I liked that this was not Euro-centric. And certainly not male Caucasian-centric.

In fact, my favorite painting in the whole book was Squirrels in a Plane Tree by Abul Hasan, a watercolor showing a fusion of eastern and western styles: There's much, much more to tell. But let me end with this. The painting on the cover is obscured by the up and down title. It's hiding something. We can't see what the man is shooting at. See, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir wanted to kill the former African slave Malik Ambar, who led resistance to Jahangir's expansion plans. Below is Jahangir with a bow, standing above a fish and an ox because he's the self-proclaimed "seizer of the world".

Hiding behind the cover title is Malik Ambar. He looks pretty hapless in the painting. But Jahangir's painting would have to remain just his wish View all 16 comments. Mar 15, Jim Coughenour rated it really liked it Shelves: armchairtravel , world-history. One morning in September I woke up in my bedroom in the San Francisco Bay Area with the date in my head and the resolution to research and write about that year already formed.

World of Motion - Martin's Complete Ultimate Tribute

So begins Thomas Christensen's sumptuous guide to the year Christensen is an editor and director of publications at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum; his craft in designing handsome catalogs is evident on every page of his book. More surprising is that it's a pleasure to read. Christensen introduces us to One morning in September I woke up in my bedroom in the San Francisco Bay Area with the date in my head and the resolution to research and write about that year already formed. Christensen introduces us to a cast of curious characters — Shah Abbas of Persia; Jahangir the Mughal emperor; a host of wildly eccentric travelers two discoveries for me are Thomas Coryate and Xi Xiake ; pirates, painters and adventurers even a soldier nun who pop up repeatedly as the author traverses the globe in search of connections and stories.

I was particularly amused by the annotations that accompanied the illustrations in the best tradition of marginalia. Here's a favorite example, a miniature morality tale elucidating a portrait of Lady Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset: Lady Francis Howard was already notorious as a woman of purportedly less than sterling virtue when she determined to annul her marriage to her husband, Robert Devereux, Third Earl of Essex, and marry instead Robert Carr, King James's favorite.

A farcical trial ensued after she petitioned for annulment on the grounds that the marriage had not been consummated and that she was still a virgin — a claim regarded by many as preposterous. A team of matrons and midwives was presented with a woman who was veiled "for modesty's sake," and they confirmed her virginity. It was commonly believed the veiled woman a substitute, as expressed in a popular verse: The dame was inspected but fraud interjected A maid of more perfection Whom the midwives did handle While the knight held the candle O there was a clear inspection!

Friends of her husband, meanwhile, to demonstrate that that he was sexually capable, reported that once during a chat he had lifted his nightshirt to show off a fine erection. In defense of his marriage, Devereux asserted that he had managed sex with several other women. Finally the king personally put an end to the proceedings by annulling the marriage himself. A friend of Carr's, Thomas Overbury, wrote a pedantic poem called "A Wife," which implied that Lady Howard possessed none of a wife's desired virtues.

He soon ended up in the Tower of London, where he was murdered by the newlyweds with poisoned drinks and enemas. What a way to go. Apr 03, Leigh MacCallum rated it it was amazing. In the spirit of openness and disclosure, I knew Tom Christensen in high school. He was one of my closest friends, the two of us even appearing together in a theater production.

Thomas Christensen's sumptuous ' The World in Motion' is easy to get lost in - vobylusesuje.tk

And, speaking of high school, I hated my history classes. They were, for the most part, uninspiring, disengaging sessions consisting of the memorization of names, dates, events and locations with the follow-up of the inevitable quiz or occasional test on Friday. In the majority of cases, all the data was completely for In the spirit of openness and disclosure, I knew Tom Christensen in high school.

In the majority of cases, all the data was completely forgotten by the following Monday! Which facts initially presented me with somewhat of a conundrum: How would I be able to give an unbiased review of a book that an old comrade has written about a subject I loathed? The solution was surprisingly simple: I read the book.


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  • The World in Motion?

To my astonishment and joy, I found that The World in Motion is not at all akin to the dull, pedantic tomes of old. It does not recite history; it exhales it with the clean, unbefouled sweetness of a suitor wooing his intended. There are no lists; there are intricate tapestries, which are woven with threads of pure gold and silver. There is none of the censorship that we used to endure in those earlier texts; there is a candor that dares to express the bold and unabashed facts of the age. Having recently published a novel myself that deals with the subject of rape, I was pleased to read the following forthright passage: "Workplace rape was common during the Renaissance, and not necessarily considered an especially grave offense, though by the early seventeenth century it was increasingly frowned upon.

Servants were especially vulnerable…. Women working in male-dominated trades were another often victimized group, in part because the men they came in contact with often lacked the wherewithal for marriage. Gang rape was not uncommon; it was usually justified by the imputation of a lack of chastity to the victim. In such cases the woman might be forced to take a small sum of money as proof of her harlotry. Much of the text is covered in the manner of a master storyteller. Christensen writes: "In Istanbul he spent a year partying, seeing the sights, and learning Turkish, which was to be his go-to language throughout his journeys.

He discovered there a strange new drink called cahue coffee and another called sherbet , as well as an unusual loose-weave fabric called terry cloth and a kind of furniture called a sofa , all of which he resolved to introduce into Italy. He judged coffee to be improved by the addition of sugar, cinnamon, and cloves, and he speculated that it could be made even better by brewing it with wine rather than water. Throughout this book, I encountered countless such charismatic details, all of them expressed in a manner that was both captivating as well as enlightening!

1616: The World in Motion

As Mr. Christensen writes in his Preface: "Cathartic events can so dominate an era that they make it difficult to see the deeper forces that drive long-term change. In , on the other hand, it is possible to make out intimations of modernity in developing globalism, militarism, imperialism, diasporism, colonialism, capitalism, rationalism, bureaucratization, urbanization, individualism, and so on. View 1 comment. Aug 19, Anastasia rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction. I am a nerd, so I found this interesting. It's not particularly heavy reading, and instead provides a fun little journey back and forth across much of the world.

What I enjoyed most was the relative focus on India and Persia, which are both civilizations I don't know a whole lot about. Along the same lines, I found the sections on Europe less interesting. Christensen also devotes some time although not as much to China, Japan, and South America. It's an interesting and ambitious undertaking, I am a nerd, so I found this interesting.


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It's an interesting and ambitious undertaking, to write a brief overview of the world during one particular and generally considered uneventful year. It never gets very in-depth or provides a whole lot of analysis, but it's a good introduction that could pique the reader to find more scholarly texts. Jun 15, Margaret Sankey rated it liked it.

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So many bits and pieces of history from around the world placed in context. However, be warned this is an awkward book to read. The thick glossy paper in the paperback edition, is awesome for pictures, but catches glare just wrong when you are trying to read. And the size is not very friendly. All that is lost in the many wonderful new trivia bits that I added to my brain. Feb 18, Mason rated it really liked it.

Image and information rich, this is a pleasurable examination of world culture when it first began to be global. Not just China's world or not just Rome's world, this is the time when blackpowder and capital drove the creation of empires. Dec 09, L. Despite all the typos I kept finding in my edition, I'm going to still give this one three stars.

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Author Thomas Christensen covers the spectrum as well as the globe. With subjects ranging from art, philosophy, natural disasters, trade, religion, women's rights psst, there weren't any , inhumanity psst, there was plenty of that , politics, science, fashion, conflicts, and just plain travel for travel's sake. The book is chocked full of pictures as well as typos. Dec 08, Clayton rated it really liked it.