The Popes
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The Popes : A History

3.66 (2,110 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

John Julius Norwich expertly examines the history of the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter to the present

Of the 280-odd holders of the supreme office, some have unquestionably been saints; others have wallowed in unspeakable immorality. One was said to have been a woman, her sex being revealed only when she improvidently gave birth to a baby during a papal procession. Almost as shocking was Formosus whose murdered corpse was exhumed, clothed in pontifical vestments, propped up on a throne and subjected to trial. From the glories of Byzantium to the decay of Rome, from the Albigensian Heresy to controversy within the Church today, The Popes is superbly written, witty and revealing.

`Charming and learned...The prose is elegant, the witticisms are plentiful, and the volume's enthusiasm is addictive.' Jonathan Wright, BBC History Magazine
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Product details

  • Paperback | 528 pages
  • 130 x 198 x 42mm | 419.99g
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • col. Illustrations, ports. (chiefly col.)
  • 0099565870
  • 9780099565871
  • 30,168

Review quote

"The stories are glorious...stuffed with monsters, absurdities, wonders and politics... the parade is endlessly interesting" Scotsman "Norwich certainly has an eye for the tiny detail that illuminates a whole character" Mail on Sunday "A highly readable book" Sunday Times "One of the most bizarre and enjoyable history books I've ever read" Daily Express "[John Julius Norwich] approaches his vast canvas with broad brush strokes, dashing off profile after profile with aplomb, flashes of wit and a formidable accumulation of detail" Financial Times
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About John Julius Norwich

John Julius Norwich is the author of histories of Norman Sicily, the Republic of Venice, the Byzantine Empire and, most recently, The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean. He has also written on architecture, music and the history plays of Shakespeare, and has presented some thirty historical documentaries on BBC Television.
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Rating details

2,110 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 20% (413)
4 38% (795)
3 34% (707)
2 8% (163)
1 2% (32)
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