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Wrath of God: The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
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 ma
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 6th 2009 by Quercus Publishing (first published October 1st 2008)
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Sep 13, 2015 Stephen rated it liked it
Fascinating subject - especially for me as I was on holiday in Lisbon for a few days last month. I'd never heard of the earthquake before then - amazing to think that an earthquake, followed by a huge fire (it was All Saints Day so most of the population were at church and the candles in there all fell over and set the place alight)and then a tsunami could devastate a European city. At the time, Lisbon was the 4th biggest city in Europe.

This book didn't really do the subject justice though - too
Apr 22, 2011 Grantcorp rated it liked it
The great earthquake of Lisbon is one of the largest calamities to strike the European continent, and ironically the event appears to have been largely ignored by history. On that auspicious All Saints Day, a great underwater quake struck the Atlantic seabed and sent tremors in all directions, shaking among other cities the very foundations of Lisbon relentlessly and unforgivingly, razing all the great monuments of the once proud seafaring nation. Palaces, cathedrals and government structures al ...more
Kevin de Ataíde
A history seen through the eyes of the resident English community in Lisbon in the second half of the eighteenth century, made interesting with dialogue and behaviour of those men, who were quite good at keeping diaries. Mr. Paice certainly loves to quote from those diaries for human interest. Hardly a paragraph goes by without a quote of even a word.

The use of quotes has a striking utility. The jumble of quote and narrative allows Paice to say the most outrageous things by quoting them from jou
Jan 01, 2013 Lachlan rated it it was amazing
This is a thoroughly researched and excellently written account of the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. Although nowadays many well-travelled, educated people have not even heard of the event, in the eighteenth century its impact on how people came to see themselves and their place in the world was massive. As the title suggests, it was generally interpreted as a punishment by a God angry with human sinfulness, not only in Lisbon but worldwide. It famously inspired Voltaire to mock and destroy the phi ...more
Victor Sonkin
A good and detailed description of one of the worst disasters in (relatively) recent history, at least among those that were natural and happened in Europe; probably the worst, which makes it all the more important. It is a one-sided view of the event, though, because it deals with the problems and tragedies of English merchants and immigrants to a much greater degree than a Portuguese book would; this is not a criticism, but it does leave a lot unsaid and unclear. The step-by-step movement of t ...more
Julian Wilson
Dec 28, 2012 Julian Wilson rated it it was ok
A good, popular introduction to the great Lisbon earthquake, but if it whetted your appetite, the lack of a bibliography makes it difficult to follow up some of the primary and secondary material. Written mostly using English eye-witness accounts, it perhaps lacks perspective from Portuguese and other continental sources, although quite a number of French sources are quoted. The ultra-quick assessment of Voltaire's Candide and Johnson's Rasselas suffers from its speed, and apparently the latter ...more
Nov 10, 2014 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: portugal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nuno Vargas
Dec 20, 2012 Nuno Vargas rated it really liked it
Although mostly forgotten by history manuals everywhere, this was a monumental event in world history and it is given its rightful place by Mr. Paice. Not focusing only on the earthquake itself but on the Portuguese reality before and after it, the author also gives us a story by following several historical personages from the evidence that exists.
My only critique is that the content is totally oriented towards the English audience. This means much is said about how the British were affected,
May 11, 2010 Reginacm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, 2010, portugal, lisbon
Interessante por se tratar da visão estrangeira do terramoto de 1755. O autor fornece dados sobre a situação política, económica e social anterior ao sismo, e dá-nos um retrato preciso dos acontecimentos posteriores e das revoluções filosófica e cientifíca, inevitáveis após um acontecimento desta magnitude.
Aug 18, 2011 Nora rated it it was ok
Overly detailed and jumbled with too many names.
Carla Lucas
visão muito "inglesa" do terramoto
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