15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Serious quality / brilliant history ...,
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This review is from: Da Vinci's Ghost: The untold story of Vitruvian Man (Hardcover)
It seems very fashionable to have the words 'Da Vinci ........' as a book title these days...
And Dan Brown, as long as you live, you will always have so much to answer for...
But, don't be put off by the apparently clichéd title of this little gem. For this is Toby Lester... and this is his second non-fiction book.
The 'Fourth Part of the World', his first book, for those who are in the know, is quite simply a work of brilliance. Witty, erudite and drenched in serious historical fact, it's slow-burning rise to five-star and must-read status remains the mark of a first-time writer filled with passion, honesty and the desire to put the traditionally academic (i.e boring) historians to shame. It was, and remains, a superb and magnificent debut.
To 'Da Vinci's Ghost' then. And it is, in essence, 270+ pages deconstructing Da Vinci's most iconic image ...'Vitruvian Man'. A grand tour from the earliest Roman origins, through the 'Middle Ages' to the 'Renaissance' and in all its permutations, here-in lies the centuries long journey of the image we all have taken for granted, but have never asked (beyond da Vinci's drawing) where it really came from.
Utterly devoid of padding, historical waffle and 'wikipedia' by-the-numbers cut-and-paste, this is an exceptional second helping from a writer who is truly getting into his stride.
Beautifully researched, written and edited ... and well illustrated too ... Lester has created a quality slice of historical non-fiction. Bravo.