The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

by Nicholas Shrady


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The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 was no run-of-the-mill misfortune-it was a watershed moment that shook the pillars of an inveterate social order and sent reverberations throughout the Western world. Earth, water, wind, and fire all conspired to produce a hellish catastrophe that lasted for a full five days and left Lisbon thoroughly annihilated. Nicholas Shrady's unique account of this first modern disaster and its aftereffects successfully articulates the outcome of the earthquake-the eighteenth-century equivalent of a mass media frenzy giving rise to a host of other fascinating developments, such as disaster preparedness, landmark social reform, urban planning, and the birth of seismology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143114604
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/31/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 745,734
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nicholas Shrady is the author of Sacred Roads: Adventures from the Pilgrimage Trail. His articles have appeared in Architectural Digest, The New York Times Book Review, Travel & Leisure, Forbes, and Town & Country.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

1 All Saints' Day 3

2 Order Out of Chaos 25

3 Taking Stock 49

4 Alis Ubbo ... Olisipo ... Al-Ushbuna ... Lisboa 63

5 A Golden Age, of Sorts 81

6 The Preacher and the Philosopher 113

7 Like a Phoenix from the Flames 147

8 Enlightenment at Any Price 169

Epilogue 203

Notes 211

Bibliography 215

Index 221

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Admirable and perfectly paced."
- The New York Sun

"Shrady's account will find the same ready audience that delight's not only in tales of catastrophes but in smart, stylishly written history."
-Publishers Weekly

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