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The Portland Vase: The Extraordinary Odyssey of a Mysterious Roman Treasure
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The Portland Vase: The Extraordinary Odyssey of a Mysterious Roman Treasure

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  37 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
For thousands of years an enigmatic and astonishingly beautiful piece of Roman art has captivated those who have come in contact with it.Made before the birth of Christ, the Portland Vase, as it is called, is renowned for both its beauty and its mystery.

In The Portland Vase, Robin Brooks takes us on a vivid journey across Europe and through the centuries, as this delicate
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 9th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published August 1st 2004)
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Lynne
May 21, 2012 Lynne rated it really liked it
I have loved Wedgwood jasperware since I was a girl, so this book was like the key to a treasure chest, since so much Wedgwood was inspired by it. The stories about the provenance of the famous ancient vase are amusing and the author's tone is perfect. I believe that in my hardcover copy one of the plates depicting a side of the vase was flopped--an inexcusable error in this particular publishing project.
Roxanne
Dec 17, 2008 Roxanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthro
This is sort of a pop archaeology book; Brooks is described on the cover flap as "an actor and author"--he's not an expert in the field. It's well researched, though, with an extensive bibliography, and it's decently written. Brooks describes the (possibly falsified) finding of the vase in a Roman tomb in the 1500s and then follows its story ever since, describing all the crazy people who've owned it, studied it, copied it, or damaged it over its long life. He also goes into all the theories tha ...more
Mom
Apr 20, 2008 Mom rated it really liked it
The vase is an artistic and technical marvel and all the more wonderful for its association with Caesar Augustus and Roman mythology. The text is also a ramble through the colorful lives of the vase's various owners and the people who came into contact with it. IMHO, the author is a little casual about some of his "facts," but there's no doubt that this is an entertaining read for anyone interested in a masterpiece in glass.
Nicole
I loved this book. It was exactly my favorite kind of narrative nonfiction - it's history, and I learned a lot from it, but it also told a wonderful story. I didn't know anything about the Portland Vase - I'd never heard of it before picking up this book! - and now I wish I'd know about it when I was in London a few years ago. I definitely would've made it a point to go see it!
Karen Young
Jun 23, 2014 Karen Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. A mystery combined with a history book. Kept me entertained all the way to the end. A social history of the English aristocracy and a tantalising introduction to Roman myths and legends. I definitely want to tead more and visit the British museum.
It is amazing the vase survived all it' s adventures.
Nicola
Sep 26, 2015 Nicola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
amazing, amazing, amazing book, i thoroughly loved this - i had never thought a vase would have so much to tell and so much could be woven in to that story. highly recommended
Rebekkila
Nov 30, 2012 Rebekkila marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11565162
Jen
Dec 20, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fascinating book about a beautiful work of art.
Marianne
May 18, 2008 Marianne marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
RA to Non-fic
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