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"On All Saints Day of 1755, the tremors from a magnitude 8.5 earthquake swept furiously from its epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Iberian Peninsula. Nowhere was it felt more than in Lisbon, then the thriving capital of a great global empire. In a few minutes most of Lisbon was destroyed--but that was only the beginning. A tsunami swept away most of the ruined coast along the Tagus River and carried untold souls out to sea. When fire broke out across the city, the surviving Lisboetas were subject to a firestorm reaching temperatures over 1,832 degrees F. Drawing on a wealth of new sources, on modern science (geology did not exist then), and on a sophisticated grasp of Portuguese history, Molesky gives us the definitive account of the destruction, of history's first international relief effort, and of the dampening effects these events had on the optimistic spirit of the Enlightenment"--Provided by publisher.
"On All Saints Day of 1755, the tremors from a magnitude 8.5 earthquake swept furiously from its epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Iberian Peninsula. Nowhere was it felt more than in Lisbon, then the thriving capital of a great global empire. In a few minutes most of Lisbon was destroyed--but that was only the beginning. A tsunami swept away most of the ruined coast along the Tagus River and carried untold souls out to sea. When fire broke out across the city, the surviving Lisboetas were subject to a firestorm reaching temperatures over 1,832 degrees F. Drawing on a wealth of new sources, on modern science (geology did not exist then), and on a sophisticated grasp of Portuguese history, Molesky gives us the definitive account of the destruction, of history's first international relief effort, and of the dampening effects these events had on the optimistic spirit of the Enlightenment"--Provided by pulisher.
Winner of the Phi Alpha Theta Best Subsequent Book Award Finalist: Los Angeles Times Book Prize The captivating and definitive account of the most consequential natural disaster of modern times. On All Saints’ Day 1755, tremors from an earthquake measuring perhaps 9.0 (or higher) on the moment magnitude scale swept furiously from their origin along the Atlantic seabed toward the Iberian and African coasts. Directly in their path was Lisbon, then one of the wealthiest cities in the world and the capital of a vast global empire. Within minutes, much of the city lay in ruins. But this was only the beginning. A half hour later, a giant tsunami unleashed by the quake smashed into Portugal’s coastline and barreled up the Tagus River, carrying countless thousands out to sea. By day’s end, the great wave chain would claim victims on four separate continents. To complete Lisbon’s destruction, a hellacious firestorm then engulfed the city’s shattered remains. Subjecting survivors to temperatures exceeding 1,832°F (1,000°C), it burned for several weeks, killing thousands and incinerating much of what the earthquake and tsunami had spared. Drawing on a wealth of new sources, the latest scientific research, and a sophisticated grasp of European history, Mark Molesky gives us the authoritative account of the Great Lisbon Disaster and its impact on the Western world—including descriptions of the world’s first international relief effort; the rise of a brutal, yet modernizing, dictatorship in Portugal; and the effect of the disaster on the spirit and direction of the European Enlightenment. Much more than a chronicle of destruction, This Gulf of Fire is, at its heart, a gripping human drama, involving an array of unforgettable characters—such as the Marquês de Pombal, the once-slighted striver who sees in the chaos his path to supreme power, and Gabriel Malagrida, the charismatic Jesuit whose view that the earthquake was a punishment sent by God leads inexorably to his demise. There is Dom José, the unremarkable king of Portugal, who stands by his people in their moment of greatest need but ultimately abandons them to the tyranny of his first minister. There is Kitty Witham, the plucky English nun who helps her fellow sisters escape from their collapsing convent, and Manoel Portal, the Oratorian priest who flees the burning capital on his broken leg and goes on to write one of the definitive accounts of the disaster. Philosophers, kings, poets, emperors, scientists, scoundrels, journalists, and monkeys all make their appearance in this remarkable narrative of the mid-eighteenth century. From the Hardcover edition.
Just after half past nine on the morning of Sunday 1 November 1755, the end of the world came to the city of Lisbon. On a day that had begun with blue skies and gentle warmth, Portugal's proud capital was struck by a massive earthquake. After a brief, two-minute tremor came six minutes of horror as Lisbon swayed 'like corn in the wind before the avalanches of descending masonry hid the ruins under a cloud of dust'. A third tremor shook most of the buildings still standing to the ground, causing catastrophic loss of life. Lisbon had been struck by a seismic disturbance estimated at 8.7 on the Richter scale - more powerful than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. An hour later, riverine Lisbon and the Algarve coast were engulfed by a series of tsunamis. In areas of the city unaffected by the waves, fires raged for six days, completing the destruction of Europe's fourth-largest city. By the time it was all over, 60,000 souls had perished and 85% of Lisbon's buildings, plus an unimaginable wealth of cultural treasures, had been destroyed by quake, fire or water. The earthquake had a searing impact on the European psyche. Theologians and philosophers were baffled by this awesome manifestation of the anger of God. How could the presence of such suffering in the world be reconciled with the existence of a beneficent deity? For Portugal itself, despite an ambitious programme of reconstruction (which gave birth to the modern science of seismology), the quake ushered in a period of decline, in which her seaborne supremacy was eclipsed by the inexorable rise of the British empire.Drawing on primary sources, Edward Paice paints a vivid picture of a city and society changed for ever by a day of terror. He describes in thrilling detail the quake itself and its immediate aftermath, but he is interested just as much in its political, economic and cultural consequences. Wrath of God is a gripping account from a master writer of a natural disaster that had a transformative impact on European society.
The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was no run-of-the-mill misfortune-it was a watershed moment that shook the pillars of an inveterate social order and sent reverberations throughout the Western world. Earth, water, wind, and fire all conspired to produce a hellish catastrophe that lasted for a full five days and left Lisbon thoroughly annihilated. Nicholas Shrady's unique account of this first modern disaster and its aftereffects successfully articulates the outcome of the earthquake-the eighteenth-century equivalent of a mass media frenzy giving rise to a host of other fascinating developments, such as disaster preparedness, landmark social reform, urban planning, and the birth of seismology.
In Conquerors, New York Times bestselling author Roger Crowley gives us the epic story of the emergence of Portugal, a small, poor nation that enjoyed a century of maritime supremacy thanks to the daring and navigational skill of its explorers—a tactical advantage no other country could match. Portugal’s discovery of a sea route to India, campaign of imperial conquest over Muslim rulers, and domination of the spice trade would forever disrupt the Mediterranean and build the first global economy. Crowley relies on letters and eyewitness testimony to tell the story of tiny Portugal’s rapid and breathtaking rise to power. Conquerors reveals the Império Português in all of its splendor and ferocity, bringing to life the personalities of the enterprising and fanatical house of Aviz. Figures such as King Manuel “the Fortunate,” João II “the Perfect Prince,” marauding governor Afonso de Albuquerque, and explorer Vasco da Gama juggled their private ambitions and the public aims of the empire, often suffering astonishing losses in pursuit of a global fortune. Also central to the story of Portugal’s ascent was its drive to eradicate Islamic culture and establish a Christian empire in the Indian Ocean. Portuguese explorers pushed deep into the African continent in search of the mythical Christian king Prester John, and they ruthlessly besieged Indian port cities in their attempts to monopolize trade. The discovery of a route to India around the horn of Africa was not only a brilliant breakthrough in navigation but heralded a complete upset of the world order. For the next century, no European empire was more ambitious, no rulers more rapacious than the kings of Portugal. In the process they created the first long-range maritime empire and set in motion the forces of globalization that now shape our world. At Crowley’s hand, the complete story of the Portuguese empire and the human cost of its ambition can finally be told. Praise for Conquerors “Excellent . . . Crowley’s interpretations are nuanced and fair.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In a riveting narrative, Crowley chronicles Portugal's horrifically violent trajectory from ‘impoverished, marginal’ nation to European power, vying with Spain and Venice to dominate the spice trade.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Brings to life the Portuguese explorers . . . perfect for anyone who likes a high seas tale.”—Publishers Weekly “Readers of Crowley’s previous books will not be disappointed by this exciting tale of sea battles, land campaigns and shipwrecks. . . . Crowley makes a good case for reclaiming Portugal’s significance as forger of the first global empire.”—The Daily Telegraph “Crowley has shown a rare gift for combining compelling narrative with lightly worn academic thoroughness as well as for balancing the human with the geopolitical—qualities on display here. The story he has to tell may be a thrilling one but not every historian could tell it so thrillingly.”—Michael Prodger, Financial Times “A fast-moving and highly readable narrative . . . [Crowley’s] detailed reconstruction of events is based on a close reading of the works of the chroniclers, notably Barros and Correa, whose accounts were written in the tradition of the chronicles of chivalry.”—History Today
A History of Portuguese Overseas Expansion 1400-1668 provides an accessible survey of how the Portuguese became so influential during this period and how Portuguese settlements were founded in areas as far flung as Asia, Africa and South America. Malyn Newitt examines how the ideas and institutions of a late medieval society were deployed to aid expansion into Africa and the Atlantic islands, as well as how, through rivalry with Castile, this grew into a worldwide commercial enterprise. Finally, he considers how resilient the Portuguese overseas communities were, surviving wars and natural disasters, and fending off attacks by the more heavily armed English and Dutch invaders until well into the 1600s. Including a detailed bibliography and glossary, A History of Portuguese Overseas Expansion 1400-1668 is an invaluable textbook for all those studying this fascinating period of European expansion

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