Written in history
Acclaimed historian Simon Sebag Montefiore selects letters that have changed the course of global events or touched a timeless emotion – whether passion, rage, humour – from ancient times to the 20th century: some are noble and inspiring, some despicable and unsettling, some are exquisite works of literature, others brutal and coarse. From love letters to declarations of war, ranging from Elizabeth I to Stalin, Marcus Aurelius to Machiavelli, Oscar Wilde to Balzac, Rameses the Great to Gandhi, Montefiore explores the significance of each piece of correspondence and shows how letters can reveal the personalities of some of history’s most fascinating figures, and in turn offer a unique perspective on the past and a relevance for today. These are letters everyone should read.
INCLUDES NEW MATERIAL
WRITTEN IN HISTORY celebrates the great letters of world history, creative culture and personal life. 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.