Ashen Sky: The Letters of Pliny the Younger on the Eruption of Vesuvius

Overview


Barry Moser's extraordinarily detailed and evocative relief engravings decorate this translation of Pliny the Younger's two famous letters to Tacitus about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 and the death of his uncle, Pliny the Elder. Printed in black and white, the engravings are works of art that illustrate various descriptions in the letters. The text includes a brief description of the eruption of the volcano, concise biographies of Tacitus and of both Plinys, and a summary of how the texts of the ...
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Overview


Barry Moser's extraordinarily detailed and evocative relief engravings decorate this translation of Pliny the Younger's two famous letters to Tacitus about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 and the death of his uncle, Pliny the Elder. Printed in black and white, the engravings are works of art that illustrate various descriptions in the letters. The text includes a brief description of the eruption of the volcano, concise biographies of Tacitus and of both Plinys, and a summary of how the texts of the two letters have survived until today.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Award-winning artist and illustrator Moser (art dept., Smith Coll.), whose works appear in museums and libraries worldwide, has delighted readers with his visual interpretations of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Moby-Dick, and the King James version of the Bible, among other notable literary works. Dramaticand vividbest describe these evocative engraved wood block illustrations, which are based on Pliny the Younger's firsthand account-written at the request of his fellow historian, mentor, and friend, Tacitus-of the cataclysmic events surrounding the 79 C.E. eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The book contains a descriptive account of the event; concise biographical sketches of Pliny the Elder, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger; a modern translation of the two letters the younger historian wrote; and a summary of how these letters have survived to modern times. A welcome addition to Moser's collective works; highly recommended for all types of libraries, especially those focusing on decorative, design, and book arts.
—Stephen Allan Patrick

School Library Journal

Gr 4 Up- This handsome volume introduces the two letters about the disaster. Using an advanced vocabulary and sophisticated sentence structure, the text sets the event in historical context and gives brief biographical information about the elder and younger Pliny and Tacitus. The letters are then given in translation with sections numbered. Suggestions for further reading include the works of Tacitus and Pliny the Elder's 10-volume Natural History . Moser's engravings reflect the darkness described in the text as day was turned to night by clouds of ash. Some show great movement, highlighting the panic of victims; others are absolutely still and survey the bleakness of the scenes. The bookmaking itself is impressive. The black text and engravings are printed on creamy paper with occasional letters or titles in red, like flashes of molten lava. The edges of the pages have been dyed black, and the endpapers suggest red landscapes obscured with pale lines of cloud and smoke. Because of its sophistication, this book is most likely to appeal to adults or special young people who won't be deterred by undefined words like "oratory," "canon," and "augur," and can appreciate the monochrome engravings.-Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892369003
  • Publisher: Getty Publications
  • Publication date: 7/27/2007
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 944,085
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Since 1970 Barry Moser has provided wood engravings for more than a hundred books, including editions of Moby Dick, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and the King James Version of the Bible. His works are found in museums throughout the world as well as in rare-book rooms and special collections of libraries.

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