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The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg has survived through 250 years of tsars, assassinations, fires, revolutions, and two world wars to become a global cultural destination housing one of the largest collections of art in the world. In an extraordinary memoir, the museum's longtime director takes the reader on a private tour of this global treasure. Holding one of the largest collections of Western and Oriental art in the world, the Hermitage is also a product of Russia and its dramatic history. Founded by Empress Catherine the Great in 1764, the stunning Winter Palace was built to house her growing collection of Old Masters and to serve as a home for the imperial family. Tsars came and went over the years, bloodily or peacefully, artworks were acquired and sold, buildings were burned down in terrible fires, and still the collections grew. After the violent upheavals of the Russian Revolution in 1917, the palaces and collections were opened to the public, ultimately enduring even the three-year siege of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) by the Nazis in World War II. Now, in an unprecedented collection of illuminating essays, Piotrovsky explores the cultural history of a collection as rich in adventure as art. From fascinating intrigues, such as the Impressionist masterpieces recovered in Germany after World War II and hidden from the public for fifty years, to revelatory scholarship on the collection's incredible art and artifacts, these authoritative and engaging anecdotes make for an exceptional read. My Hermitage is a profound and captivating story of art's timelessness and how it brings people together.
This volume brings together in convenient form a rich selection of Japanese prose dating from the ninth to the seventeenth centuries, a period during which the preeminent cultural and aesthetic values were those of the Heian court. It contains 22 works representing all the major indigenous literary forms, either complete or in generous excerpts, and is particularly rich in writing by women and in autobiographical writings. This anthology contains longer selections than the only other available anthology, which was published in the 1950s, and each selection is preceded by an introduction reflecting the most recent scholarship. With three exceptions, all the translations are by the compilers, and almost all of them are published here for the first time. Because of space limitations, the compiler has omitted the two long masterpieces of the age, The Tale of Genji and The Tale of Heike, which deserve to be read in their entirety, and which are available in paperback English translations. The book contains an extensive general introduction, thirteen illustrations, five maps, a glossary, and a selected bibliography of works in English translation.
Set against a backdrop of historical political intrigue, this mystery follows Father Martin on his investigations into a set of gruesome murders. Headless bodies are surfacing, and Martin is under pressure from King Henry of Anjou to find an answer before Henry's proposed expedition to take over the territories of Ireland. Could the killings and the upcoming invasion be connected?
A disgraced Earl in disguise and a Miss on a mission . . . When an unspeakable secret is uncovered, threatening to destroy the Earl of Westbridge's tranquil life, he seeks refuge while he plots an honorable course of action. Disguised as Robbie Darkwood, he finds sanctuary as a hermit on the newly acquired estate of Mr. George Gardiner. His obligations as a hermit are to be seen but not heard, to resist any interference from others on the estate, and to provide a romantic presence at an unobtrusive distance. His duties seem simple until Miss Laurel Gardiner, Mr. Gardiner's spirited daughter, returns from the London season bored and disillusioned, wanting nothing more than the sanctuary of her secret library in her father's hermitage. When she finds her sacred space occupied by a handsome and enigmatic hermit, she decides to set aside her passion for reading and invest that energy in something infinitely more pleasurable: remaking the common hermit into a gentleman and a romantic interest for her recently jilted friend. The Earl of Westbridge does his best to avoid Miss Gardiner, but she's a force to be reckoned with, and soon he finds himself falling in love with her. But he knows that his love is ill-fated, for no respectable woman will have him once this unspeakable secret is revealed . . . Sharon Sobel is the author of ten historical and two contemporary romance novels. She also served as Secretary and Chapter Liaison of Romance Writers of America. Her short story, The Jilt, has been selected for inclusion in the second RWA anthology of romantic fiction. She has a PhD in English Language and Literature from Brandeis University and is an English professor at a Connecticut college, where she co-chaired the Connecticut Writers' Conference for five years. An eighteenth century New England farmhouse, where Sharon and her husband raised their three children, has provided inspiration for either the period or the setting for all of her books.
A lively and utterly singular travelogue of the intricate curiosities that are directly within one’s own reach In 1790, while serving in the Piedmontese army, the French aristocrat Xavier de Maistre (1763–1852) was punished for dueling and placed under house arrest for forty-two days. The result was a discursive, mischievous memoir Voyage Around My Room, and its sequel, Nocturnal Expedition Around My Room. Admired by Nietzsche and Machado de Assis, Ossian and Susan Sontag, this classic book proves that sitting on the living-room sofa can be as fascinating as crossing the Alps or paddling up the Amazon. In addition to the Voyage and Expedition, this edition also includes the dialogue “The Leper of the City of Aosta,” a preface by Xavier’s better-known older brother (the royalist philosopher Joseph de Maistre), and an introduction by Richard Howard.
Popular hunting/fishing personalities Jason Cruise and Jimmy Sites, also pastors, take outdoor enthusiasts deeper into God’s Word with this rugged devotional that draws comparisons between hunting seasons and the spiritual seasons of the soul. Into the High Country includes truth-revealing stories of adventure and space for writing down one’s own thoughts and experiences.

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