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What are the origins of the modern passion for Venice? During the two hundred years since its political extinction, the shabby relic of a despised tyranny has been transformed into a great modern cultural symbol celebrated by intellectual and literary figures such as Ruskin, Proust, Mann and Henry James.
This engaging and novel interpretation explores the American and European obsession with the myth of a beautiful city, and in doing so reveals much about the development of modern Western sensibility.
‘This book can be enjoyed whether or not you have been to Venice, or whether you never intend to go.’ Daily Telegraph
‘Full of fresh and little-known material; it is almost unfailingly interesting and invariably well written.’ Tony Tanner, New York Review of Books
‘An entirely fascinating history of the city as she has been seen, as image and icon … convincingly argued and consistently entertaining.’ Independent
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