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The Grand Tour: the cultural rite of passage from London to Paris, Berlin, Venice, Florence, Rome, and down to the boot of Italy, which linked the Continent’s most spectacular artistic treasures Sex and travel have always been intertwined, and never more so than on the classic Grand Tour of Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today the Continent is still littered with salacious remnants of that golden age, where secret boudoirs, notorious dungeons, and forbidden artifacts lured travelers all the way from London to Capri. In The Sinner’s Grand Tour, celebrated historian and travel writer Tony Perrottet sets off to discover a string of legendary sites and relics that are still kept far from public view. In southern France, an ancient text leads him inside the château of the Marquis de Sade, now owned by fashion icon Pierre Cardin. In Paris, an 1883 prostitute guide helps him discover the Belle Époque fantasy brothel Le Chabanais and the lost “sex chair” of King Edward VII. Renaissance documents in the Vatican Secret Archives point the way to the Pope’s very own apartments in Vatican City, wherein lies the fabled Stufetta del Bibbiena, a pornography-covered bathroom painted by Raphael in 1516. With his unique blend of original research, sharp wit, and hilarious anecdotes, Perrottet brings us a romping travel adventure through the scandalous backrooms of historical Europe.
We all know the famous national museums of Europe, the Louvre, Prado and British Museum. But more alluring and entertaining are the many small, quirky museums that are scattered across the continent. Visiting them provides a direct link back to an earlier age, when travelers on the Grand Tour to Europe sought out Cabinets of Wonders filled with unique art and marvelous relics.
John Muir, the father of conversation, found his calling in the California wilderness now known as Yosemite, writes award-winning journalist, author, and frequent National Public Radio contributor Tony Perrottet.
In his introduction, guest editor Andrew McCarthy says that the best travel writing is “the anonymous and solitary traveler capturing a moment in time and place, giving meaning to his or her travels.” The stories in The Best American Travel Writing 2015 demonstrate just that spirit, whether it is the story of a marine returning to Iraq a decade after his deployment, a writer retracing the footsteps of humanity as it spread from Africa throughout the world, or looking for love on a physics-themed cruise down the Rhone River. No matter what the subject, the writers featured in this volume boldly call out, “Yes, this matters. Follow me!” The Best American Travel Writing 2015 includes Iris Smyles, Paul Theroux, Christopher Solomon Patricia Marx, Kevin Baker, Benjamin Busch, Maud Newton Gary Shteyngart, Paul Salopek, and others ANDREW MCCARTHY, guest editor, is the author of the New York Times best-selling travel memoir The Longest Way Home. He has served as an editor at large at National Geographic Traveler and been named travel journalist of the year by the Society of American Travel Writers. He is also an actor and director. JASON WILSON, series editor, is the author of Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits and the digital wine series Planet of the Grapes. He has written for the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Daily News, and many other publications. He is the founding editor of The Smart Set and Table Matters.
Every great city is a restless work in progress, but nowhere is the urban impulse more in flux than in Berlin, that sprawling metropolis located on the fault line of history. A short-lived fever-dream of modernity in the Roaring Twenties, redubbed Germania and primped up into the megalomaniac fantasy of a Thousand-Year Reichstadt in the Thirties, reduced in 1945 to a divided rubble heap, subsequently revived in a schizoid state of post-World War II duality, and reunited in 1989 when the wall came tumbling down — Berlin has since been reborn yet again as the hipster hub of the 21st century. This book is a hopscotch tour in time and space. Part memoir, part travelogue, Ghost Dance in Berlin is an unlikely declaration of love, as much to a place as to a state of mind, by the American-born son of German-speaking Jewish refugees. Peter Wortsman imagines the parallel celebratory haunting of two sets of ghosts, those of the exiled erstwhile owners, a Jewish banker and his family, and those of the Führer’s Minister of Finance and his entourage, who took over title, while in another villa across the lake another gaggle of ghosts is busy planning the Final Solution.
Putting Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in historical context, connecting it to pivotal issues like slavery, class, money, and American economic expansion, this book engages readers by presenting American history through the lens of a great novel. • Presents Twain's book as a historical novel that brings up key historical issues both in the antebellum period in which the novel is set and in the post-Reconstruction period in which it was written • Identifies how Huckleberry Finn underscores perhaps the cruelest aspect of slavery: the involuntary separation of husbands, wives, and children from each other • Ideal reading for college and high school students taking American history classes as well as general readers with an interest in American history, Mark Twain, or both • Provides extensive annotations that are useful, accessible, and interesting to readers without specialized knowledge of 19th-century history
The historic bathhouses of Istanbul were built on the sites of the great thermae of the ancient Romans. Today, they are a last vestige of the bathing tradition that was celebrated across the Mediterranean for centuries. A visit to Istanbul's most spectacular bath, Cagaloglu Hamam, offers some surprising and occasionally disconcerting connections to the past.

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