Vanished Kingdoms : The History of Half-Forgotten Europe, Paperback

Vanished Kingdoms : The History of Half-Forgotten Europe Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


From Norman Davies, the acclaimed author of "Europe: A History", comes the magical history of Europe's lost realms, selected as a Book of the Year by the "Sunday Times", "Daily Telegraph", "New Statesman", "Independent", "Guardian" and "Financial Times".

Europe's history is littered with kingdoms, duchies, empires and republics which have now disappeared but which were once fixtures on the map of their age.

What happened to the once-great Mediterranean 'Empire of Aragon'?

Where did the half-forgotten kingdoms of Burgundy go?

Which current nations will one day become a distant memory too?

This original and enthralling book peers through the cracks of history to discover the stories of lost realms across the centuries. "Dazzling, provocative and brilliant". (Dominic Sandbrook, "Sunday Times", Books of the Year). "A luminous account ...there are few better ways of understanding the multilayered splendours and horrors of Europe's past than through the pages of this wise, humane and unfailingly engaging book". (John Adamson, "Sunday Telegraph"). ""Vanished Kingdoms" is great history and also great art.

It is written with verve, passion and profound empathy". (David Marquand, "New Statesman", Books of the Year). "A magnificent achievement. Brocaded with scholarship, the book is unlikely ever to be equalled". (Ian Thomson, "Independent").


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 848 pages, Illustrations
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9780141048864



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Norman Davies has hit upon an interesting idea and addresses a frequently overlooked area of European history but somehow he seemed never quite to reach out and grasp the reader's undivided attention.His basic premise is that there have been many nations that have featured prominently, if fleetingly, at various stages of European history, but have subsequently vanished from the public perception. Among the more engaging chapters that Professor Davies offers are Tolosa (home of the Visigoths in what is now south west France), Burgundia (of which several markedly different iterations have emerged at different times), and these demonstrate his comprehensive research. However, i found that these chapters were in the minority, and the completion of this book almost became a demonstration of Zeno's Arrow principle whereby I would first have to complete half of the remaining pages, and then half of the next remainder and so forth.Still i managed it somehow, and while I suppose I am a wiser and better-informed person as a consequence, I feel a need to read something a bit more readily rewarding.

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