Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The City of Falling Angels

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The City of Falling Angels

by John Berendt

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

Print Review

A Short History of Venice

Venice was founded in the River Po estuary by refugees escaping Attila the Hun in the 5th century. The city is built on more than 100 islands forming the archipelago of the Venetian Lagoon. All transport within the city of Venice is either on foot or by water. Around the 8th century Venice became a city state, like Genoa and Pisa; and with its strategic position at the head of the Adriatic its naval and commercial power were almost invulnerable.

In the late 12th century, the Republic of Venice seized areas of the mainland surrounding Venice - its possessions (known as 'Terrafirma') provided a buffer against belligerent neighbors and guaranteed essential trade routes. It also controlled most of the islands in the Aegean including Cyprus and Crete and became a major power-broker in the Near East. Venice continued to gain power during the 13th Century, especially after the Fourth Crusade, as only Venetian ships could efficiently transport the men, supplies and war horses.

Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Venice in 1797, ending 1070 years of independence. During the next 20 years it passed by treaty to Austria, then back to Napoleon, before being returned to Austria following Napoleon's defeat in 1814. In 1866 it became part of Italy. By this time the city was in serious decline with many of the old buildings abandoned and falling into disrepair. Fortunately, the advent of mass tourism in the 19th century provided a turning point for the city.

Today, the Italian government, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the charity Venice in Peril are funding repairs to protect Venice from the flooding and pollution that have badly damaged the canals, buildings and monuments, but the city is still in danger of sinking below sea level.

Interesting Links:
Venice's official website
The Fenice's website (when the page opens, click on the tiny British flag to the right just below the menu area).

Did you know?
Two of the most infamous womanizers of all time are Don Juan and Casanova. Although Don Juan is fictitious, Casanova is an historical figure who lived in Venice in the 18th century.

This article was originally published in November 2005, and has been updated for the October 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: All Our Wrong Todays
    All Our Wrong Todays
    by Elan Mastai
    You need a great deal of time to read All Our Wrong Todays, but don't let that put you off. ...
  • Book Jacket: Dadland
    Dadland
    by Keggie Carew
    In her notable debut, Keggie Carew examines the life of her father Tom, a decorated war hero whose ...
  • Book Jacket: Piecing Me Together
    Piecing Me Together
    by Renee Watson
    Race and class in American culture certainly dominate the news right now. These two things seem to ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be ...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -