Paul Strathern

The Spirit of Venice
  • The Spirit of Venice

  • The Spirit of Venice is a history of the first great economic and naval power of the modern Western world, from its struggle to ascendancy, through the arc of its glory - when its trading empire reached as far afield as China, Syria and West Africa - to the beginning of its long and fascinating decline.

    Told through the lives of the brilliant and often wayward individuals who are inextricably bound to the Republic, this is the story of the Venice of Marco Polo, Titian, Tintoretto, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Casanova, and a scintillating array of equally captivating heroes and villains. It reveals a vibrant city of invention, which pioneered banking, presided over the first bond-market crash, and whose renowned Arsenal became the world's first assembly line. And while Venice had no Statue of Liberty or mother of parliaments, it was for many years the nearest the modern western world came to a liberal democracy.

    Gloriously rich with detail and intrigue, The Spirit of Venice constitutes a refreshing and authoritative new way into the history of the most evocative of cities.

Paul Strathern studied philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin. He has lectured in philosophy and mathematics. He is a Somerset Maugham Prize-winning novelist; author of two series of books - Philosophers in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists who Changed the World; as well as Mendeleyev's Dream (shortlisted for the Aventis Science Book Prize); Dr. Strangelove's Game: A History of Economic Genius, The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance; The Artist, the Philosopher and the Warrior, Death in Florence: The Medici, Savonarola and the Battle for the Soul of the Renaissance City and, most recently, The Spirit of Venice.