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From Gabriel to Lucifer: A Cultural History of Angels Hardcover – 30 Nov 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • 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)
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Review

'...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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Never thought I could read such a scholarly book with such pleasure and anticipation right to the end, and fast.
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".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An ideal book for those who take the Angelic Realm seriously.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not what I thought I was getting. Author believes in angles and this came across in many places.
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Format: Hardcover
The jacket cover quotes Melvyn Bragg's personal one-line endorsement of Valery Rees's recently published "From Gabriel to Lucifer" and yes, it really is a terrific read. Like the above reviewers, I bow before the breadth and depth of the research underlying this transcendent subject and admire the ease and flow with which the history of angels has been collated and presented. The author writes as she speaks - calmly, authoritatively and with great clarity. A very scholarly,very reader-friendly book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a huge subject which it is covered comprehensively in this book. The author has a thorough understanding and writes in a way that's easy for lesser mortals to comprehend (for which I am most grateful)!
Highly intelligent and erudite - most definitely recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
A colleague recommended this book and it was my bedside reading for ten days. I enjoyed the breadth of reference, the depth of scholarship and the number of references to follow up. I recommend it heartily.
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Format: Hardcover
This survey covers a huge scope, from the origins of angels in the Bible and Chaldean mythology to the hermaphroditic Victorian angels with wings and harps, dipping into Islamic legends, Plotinus, Aquinas, Dante and Milton on the way. The author shows that angels have been a common if not universal feature of man's attempt to understand the world and the place of religion in it. Lots of food for thought!
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