The Raven King: Matthias Corvinus and the Fate of His Lost Library

The Raven King: Matthias Corvinus and the Fate of His Lost Library

by Marcus Tanner
     
 

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This book is the first in English to tell the gripping story of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary - known as the Raven King - and of his fabled two thousand-volume library.

'A fascinating book ... Tanner has a shrewd sense of character and a vivid eye for detail.' The Sunday Telegraph

'Tanner has written the juvenile 'Raven King' back into history.' The Times

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Overview

This book is the first in English to tell the gripping story of Matthias Corvinus of Hungary - known as the Raven King - and of his fabled two thousand-volume library.

'A fascinating book ... Tanner has a shrewd sense of character and a vivid eye for detail.' The Sunday Telegraph

'Tanner has written the juvenile 'Raven King' back into history.' The Times

'A fascinating yet little-known true-life tale that has all the hallmarks of gripping fiction.' The Independent on Sunday

Marcus Tanner is a journalist and writer, editor of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, and a leader-writer for The Independent. He has also written widely on the history of Croatia, Ireland, and the Celts.

Editorial Reviews

The Telegraph - Noel Malcolm

"Tanner has a shrewd sense of character and a vivid eye for detail, and he succeeds in bringing to life the politics of Matthias's reign, with all its dynastic in-fighting and geopolitical jockeying for position."—Noel Malcolm, The Telegraph

Library Journal

In this meandering book, British journalist and author Tanner (The Last of the Celts) traces the creation and dissolution of the fabled library of 15th-century Hungarian King Matthias Corvinius. Born Matthias Hunyadi in Cluj, Transylvania, in 1443, the boy who would become the Raven King followed his father's footsteps into the military, eventually becoming the leader of a Hungarian empire that briefly served as Europe's bulwark against the Ottoman invasion. The library is the framing device for a biography of Matthias, a summary of Hungarian history from the Renaissance to the present day, and an account of great Renaissance libraries. As part of his effort to bring Italian humanism to far-off Hungary, Matthias sent learned emissaries to Florence to order special volumes of the rediscovered Classics, all written, illustrated, and bound by hand. Tanner surveys the surviving Corvinian manuscripts (marked with the Raven symbol) and the paths they followed from the Ottoman sack of Budapest in 1526 to the great libraries of Europe and the United States where they reside today. Black-and-white illustrations and a map (neither seen) should help with the presentation. This book belongs in public libraries and will be of great interest to students of eastern European history.
—Stewart Desmond

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300120349
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2008
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,050,755
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Marcus Tanner is a journalist and writer, editor of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, and a leader-writer for the Independent. His previous books include Croatia, Ireland's Holy Wars, and The Last of the Celts, all published by Yale University Press.

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