Wednesday, 29 April 2009

A new Robert Hughes book is coming!

It is easy to become a little blasé about new books sometimes - afterall, I see the lists for dozens of publishers every month, easily a couple of thousand titles to sift and sort through in the endlessly fascinating task of ensuring Abbey's has a wide and varied mix of books on the shelves. So it is a great pleasure when you learn a favourite author has a new book coming up sometime in the future, and yesterday I was given the details of the new (drumroll please Maestro!) Robert Hughes title!

To be called Rome: A Cultural History it will be over 400 pages long, and follows the development of the Eternal City, from pastoral settlements that coalesced into a city in the 8th century BCE, through to its becoming the capital of the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire. The decline after the fall of the Empire, its increasing importance as Christianity took hold and the Roman Bishop eventually turned into the Pope and the city became the centre of the Catholic Church are dealt with. The tumultuous times of the 19th century, and the even more crazy times of the 20th will be considered. And while I have not seen any advance pages yet, I am confident the book will be everything we expect from Hughes - sumptuous writing, sweeping narrative, considered and measured and no doubt at times quite magisterial, revealing a mass of details and occasional flashes of sly humour.

Can't wait? - well we have to! The book is slated for an October release, it will be in hardback at $55 (though that price may change) - and of course, we are quite happy to take advance orders! Lindy

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