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An "innovative" (The New Yorker) retelling of the story of Dracula. Told with the flourish and poise of a talented storyteller, Kostova turns the age-old tale into a compelling "late night page-turner" (San Francisco Chronicle) When a young woman discovers a cache of ancient letters, she is thrown into the turbulent history of her parents' dark pasts. Uncovering a labyrinthine trail of clues, she begins to reconstruct a staggering history of deceit and violence. Debut novelist Elizabeth Kostova creates an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful and utterly unforgettable.
In this internationally bestselling novel, the author of The Swan Thieves has 'refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling...late-night page-turner' - San Francisco Chronicle Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to 'My dear and unfortunate successor'. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of - a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history. In those few quiet moments, she unwittingly assumes a quest she will discover is her birthright - a hunt for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the Dracula myth. Deciphering obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions, and evading terrifying adversaries, one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions - a captivating tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful - and utterly unforgettable. 'Quite extraordinary....Kostova is a natural storyteller....She has refashioned the vampire myth into a compelling contemporary novel, a late-night page-turner' - San Francisco Chronicle 'Filled with fascinating details of archaic vampire lore, the splendours of the Ottoman Empire and the beauty of the Romanian countryside' - Times Literary Supplement
To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath my history....Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor," and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of-a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history. The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known-and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself-to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive. What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed-and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler's dark reign-and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.Parsing obscure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions-and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad's ancient powers-one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil. Elizabeth Kostova's debut novel is an adventure of monumental proportions, a relentless tale that blends fact and fantasy, history and the present, with an assurance that is almost unbearably suspenseful-and utterly unforgettable.
From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes a mesmerizing novel that spans the past and the present—and unearths the troubled history of a gorgeous but haunted country. A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi—and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by political oppression—and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger. Elizabeth Kostova’s new novel is a tale of immense scope that delves into the horrors of a century and traverses the culture and landscape of this mysterious country. Suspenseful and beautifully written, it explores the power of stories, the pull of the past, and the hope and meaning that can sometimes be found in the aftermath of loss. Praise for The Shadow Land “A compelling and complex mystery, strong storytelling, and lyrical writing combine for an engrossing read.”—Publishers Weekly “In The Shadow Land, Elizabeth Kostova, a master storyteller, brings vividly to life an unfamiliar country—Bulgaria—and a painful history that feels particularly relevant now. You won’t want to put down this remarkable book.”—Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs “In this brilliant work, what appears at first a minor mystery quickly becomes emblematic of a whole country’s hidden history. Lyrical and compelling, The Shadow Land proves a profound meditation on how evil is inflicted, endured, and, through courage and compassion, defeated. Elizabeth Kostova’s third novel clearly establishes her as one of America’s finest writers.”—Ron Rash, author of The Risen
At a time when the problems of the past have come to haunt many societies, the question of the social responsibility of the scientist and scholar, and of the historian in particular, has also once again become a topical one. In this volume seven internationally known historians consider this important question. DIOGENES LIBRARY
This work, by the co-founder of the "Annales School" deals with the uses and methods of history. It is useful for students of history, teachers of historiography and all those interested in the writings of the Annales school.
Film is increasingly engaging the attention of students of history at all levels. In its manifold forms from the newsreel to the 'feature', it is a major source of evidence for, and an important influence upon, contemporary history, and a vivid means of bringing the recent past to life. For earlier periods, it provides a medium in which the often widely dispersed visual evidences of the past can be brought together for the student. It offers the historian a new form in which to interpret and present his subject, and, as television has shown, it is by far the most important vehicle for the presentation of history to mass audiences. The analysis of its content and impact and the exploration of its uses are especially fitted to bring history into an interdisciplinary relationship with other fields, from sociology to the visual arts.
Written in an engaging and entertaining style, this widely-used how-to guide introduces readers to the theory, craft, and methods of history and provides a series of tools to help them research and understand the past. Part I is a stimulating, philosophical introduction to the key elements of history--evidence, narrative, and judgment--that explores how the study and concepts of history have evolved over the centuries. Part II guides readers through the workshop of history. Unlocking the historian's toolbox, the chapters here describe the tricks of the trade, with concrete examples of how to do history. The tools include documents, primary and secondary sources, maps, arguments, bibliographies, chronologies, and many others. This section also covers professional ethics and controversial issues, such as plagiarism, historical hoaxes, and conspiracy theories. Part III addresses the relevance of the study of history in today's fast-paced world. The chapters here will resonate with a new generation of readers: on everyday history, oral history, material culture, public history, event analysis, and historical research on the Internet. This Part also includes two new chapters for this edition. GIS and CSI examines the use of geographic information systems and the science of forensics in discovering and seeing the patterns of the past. Too Much Information treats the issue of information overload, glut, fatigue, and anxiety, while giving the reader meaningful signals that can benefit the study and craft of history. A new epilogue for this edition argues for the persistence of history as a useful and critically important way to understand the world despite the information deluge.