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The Sancy Blood Diamond: Power, Greed, and the Cursed History of One of the World's Most Coveted Gems Hardcover – 19 Nov 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 19 Nov 2004
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; First Edition edition (19 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471436518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471436515
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.9 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,055,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

“…she tells the 600–year story of the Sancy, with thefts and intrigues from India to the French monarchy.” (Oxford Times, 24th December 2004)

“…Susan Ronald attacks her story with a great deal of gusto and erudition…" (The Sunday Telegraph, 2 January 2005)

“…An astonishing story. And one to which Ronald’s highly–original book does full justice…” (Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds, 22 December 2004)

“…unravels a real theft from Louvre…” (The Times, 19 November 2004)

Back when pepper was the king of spices and monarchs governed Europe, jewels ruled. The more precious gems a king or queen had, the greater the chances of mounting an army to seize land, power––and more gems. Until it was cut in 1661, the 106–carat Sancy was "the largest white diamond in Christendom," a guarantee of wealth, though not of security. Ronald, a British historian, has gone on a treasure hunt to dig up every fact imaginable about the diamond’s owners from the 14th century to the present––it’s now in the Louvre, which purchased it from Lord Astor, who inherited it from his father. While she clearly illustrates the ill fortune that befell many who came into contact with the diamond, it’s hard to buy her claim that "it helped change the course of European history," though those who bought, traded, stole or coveted the Sancy––among them Queen Elizabeth I, King Charles I and Louis XIV––were Europe’s most powerful. As an introduction to mostly European history, this book is alternately enlightening and overwhelming. At times, the diamond gets lost in a snarl of names and facts, but those with some familiarity with and interest in European history may consider this a gem worth having in their library. Agent, Alex Hoyt. (Nov.) (Publishers Weekly, August 23, 2004)

“…she tells the 600–year story of the Sancy, with thefts and intrigues from India to the French monarchy.” (Oxford Times, 24th December 2004)

“…Susan Ronald attacks her story with a great deal of gusto and erudition…" (The Sunday Telegraph, 2 January 2005)

“…An astonishing story. And one to which Ronald’s highly–original book does full justice…” (Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds, 22 December 2004)

“…unravels a real theft from Louvre…” (The Times, 19 November 2004)

"...this book is alternately enlightening and overwhelming...may consider this a gem worth having in their library". (Publishers Weekly, August 23, 2004)

Synopsis

This is the fascinating six-hundred-year history of one of the world's most coveted gems and the royal feuds, intrigues, and betrayals it engendered. The Sancy Diamond first came to Europe from India in the fourteenth century, and until 1661 it was the largest white diamond - and the most concentrated and secure form of wealth - in all of Christendom. Alternately believed to impart invincibility to its wearer and to bring ruin to any who owned it, the Sancy cast a seemingly mystical spell over everyone from the king of Portugal to Henry III of France to England's Elizabeth I to Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Maria Luisa of Spain. The riveting account of one of the most hotly pursued gems in history, "The Sancy Blood Diamond" follows its six-century journey from the diamond mines of Golconda to where it now modestly resides at the Louvre, among the remnants of the French crown jewels.In a colorful, fast-paced narrative, historian Susan Ronald describes the often violent passions the Sancy engendered among many of the giants of European history.

She also describes the pivotal roles it played on the chessboard of European geopolitics, and how it was used to raise armies, settle national debts, and enhance its owners' power and prestige. Working from primary sources, Ronald solves, once and for all, the mystery of the Sancy's disappearances in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and she explores the legend of the Sancy curse, which arose after the violent deaths of Burgundy's Charles the Bold, England's Charles I, France's Louis XVI, and other ill-fated owners.

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4 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews

22 July 2017
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
2 January 2015
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10 November 2004
Format: Hardcover
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2 December 2004
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: 2.7 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
Benoit Remy
1.0 out of 5 starsSancy Blood Diamond
12 April 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
3 people found this helpful.
Richard W. Wise
5.0 out of 5 starsThe bloodiest of them all
12 April 2007 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
6 people found this helpful.
ACM83
4.0 out of 5 starsFun and easy read
5 February 2006 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
5 people found this helpful.
C. Pinheiro
1.0 out of 5 starsfraco
24 January 2013 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover

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