Shortlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize
Selected as a Book of the Year 2017 by the Daily Telegraph, Mail on Sunday and Observer
“A riveting picture, generously rendered, of the stubborn, argumentative miracle of Jewish survival against the odds… Schama has made an eloquent and a far-reaching case for why Jews needed a small piece of earth they could call home.” — The New York Times Book Review
In the second of three volumes of this magnificently illustrated cultural history, the tie-in to the PBS and BBC series The Story of the Jews, Simon Schama details the story of the Jewish people from 1492 through the end of nineteenth century
Simon Schama’s great project continues and the Jewish story is woven into the fabric of humanity. Their search for a home where a distinctive religion and culture could be nourished without being marginalized suddenly takes on startling resonance in our own epoch of homelessness, wanderings, persecutions, and anxious arrivals.
Volume 2 of The Story of the Jews epic tells the stories of many who seldom figure in Jewish histories: not just the rabbis and the philosophers but a poetess in the ghetto of Venice; a general in Ming China; a boxer in Georgian England, a Bible showman in Amsterdam; a teacher of the deaf in eighteenth-century France, an opera composer in nineteenth-century Germany. The story unfolds in Kerala and Mantua, the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul, the taverns of Ukraine and the mining camps of California. It sails in caravels, rides the stagecoaches and the railways, trudges the dawn streets of London with a pack load of old clothes, hobbles along with the remnant of Napoleon’s ruined army.
Through Schama’s passionate and intelligent telling, a story emerges of the Jewish people that feels as if it is the story of everyone, of humanity packed with detail, this second chronicle in an epic tale will shed new light on a crucial period of history.₵65.00
Jonathan goes on a secret quest to Rome, and Flavia, Nubia and Lupus set out to find him. Their dangerous mission takes them to the Golden House of Nero where a deadly assassin is rumoured to be at work – and they learn what happened to Jonathan’s family during the terrible destruction of Jerusalem nine years earlier.₵40.00
Flavia and her friends are on a quest for the Emperor Titus – to steal a valuable gemstone known as ‘Nero’s Eye’. The Delphic Oracle prophesied that whoever owns the gem will rule Rome – so Titus is determined to claim it for himself. Their travels take them across the Roman province of Mauretania, from Sabratha (in modern Libya) to Volubilis (Morocco). As they travel on a caravan across the desert they encounter slave-traders, pantomime actors and a wild animal stampede. The detectives must consider another quest: what has happened to Uncle Gaius? Meanwhile, Flavia faces some tough decisions about her future.₵40.00
September AD 80. Flavia and her friends go to Rome to celebrate the Festival of Jupiter at Senator Cornix’s town house. When a famous racehorse goes missing, Nubia sets out to recover it. The four friends find themselves caught up in a plot against one of the rival factions, the Greens. Who is trying to sabotage the charioteers? Could it be an inside job, or someone with a grudge from long ago? And how many men and horses will die before the killer is caught?₵40.00