- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 Nov. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1848853726
- ISBN-13: 978-1848853720
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.9 x 27.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 714,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
From Gabriel to Lucifer: A Cultural History of Angels Hardcover – 30 Nov 2012
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'...a terrific read: an absorbing account of angels across world history, ancient and modern.' --Melvyn Bragg
'Rees flits across space and time with an aptly angelic facility. Ranging from ancient Sumeria to the novels of Philip Pullman, and from medieval scholasticism to Jungian theory, the breadth of her learning is formidable.' --Tom Holland, The Guardian
'[a] thoroughly enjoyable angelic switchback ride through history.' --The Spectator
About the Author
A prominent scholar of the Renaissance, Valery Rees is a Senior Member of the School of Economic Science in London. She co-edited Marsilio Ficino: His Theology, His Philosophy, His Legacy (2002), and has featured as a regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's flagship ideas programme, In Our Time.
Top Customer Reviews
It moves between heaven and earth and through time and cultures, introducing or bringing to memory crowds of travellers,
winged or not, at a relaxed, enriching pace. Let us take a quick look at Azazel and the scapegoat sent alone to the desert by Aaron,another to the jinni, or genie, summoned by Aladdin's lamp : in both cases, lovely enlightening etymologies, questionings as to the messengers (angels?demons?)and the message (perhaps a half-way , a transiton, to take us from poly- to mono-theism?).
Now a leap to the supreme seraph in Isaiah's vision: "a powerful fiery angel of purification" ( we are in 739 BC ; by the way seraphim have 6 wings, yes, 6! and no s to seraphim as the im is already a plural); by contrast we also hear "the still small voice" as did Elijah (9th cent.BC) and which speaks from within all of us.
Add among countless other riches the humour and the personal voice of Valery Rees, you have a powerful cocktail.
A personal diamond for me is the idea, attributed to Baruch a disciple of Jeremiah, that the tree "which led Adam astray" in Eden was no apple but a grapevine, later replanted by Noah after the Deluge: as a Burgundian I love it, as does a South African acquaintance of mine from Constantia valley, one of the southern hemisphere's oldest wine-making regions; "the curse was turned to a blessing ... but those who abuse it risk eternal fire".
Highly intelligent and erudite - most definitely recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rumi said that 'the angels were pure intellect' - something not mentioned here, coupled with the obvious fact that Valery Rees has a love for those unseen ones who keep watch over... Read morePublished on 30 Nov. 2014 by Mr B
Beautifully written and a true insight of the history of Angels. Thank you.Published on 20 Sept. 2014 by Susy Clements
A hackneyed phrase, but this really is a cornucopia of delight. The author shares with us not only her remarkable depth and breadth of both knowledge and understanding, but also... Read morePublished on 28 Sept. 2013 by Richard Apley
A beautiful conjunction of literary and artistic history combined with theology and beliefs around holy writ from various cultures... Read morePublished on 6 April 2013 by P. Bennett