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  • Published: 31 December 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448108053
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288
Categories:

The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro



The critically acclaimed biography of the eighteenth century quack, charlatan and murderer who was to the French Revolution what Rasputin was to the Russian.

Guiseppe Balsamo was born in the mid-eighteenth century in the slums of Palermo, Sicily. He would rise from obscurity to become the legendary Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, whose dangerous charm and reputed healing would make him the darling - and bane - of upper-crust Europe. Moving through the period between the Age of Enlightenment and the French Revolution - a time when reason and superstition co-mingled in the minds of even the best educated - Cagliostro earned a reputation for dazzling kings, feeding the poor, healing the ill and, most conspicuously, relieving the careless rich of their money. He tangled with most of the major figures in Europe at that time, including Casanova, Mozart, Goethe and Catherine the Great. Eventually a lifetime of political intrigue led him to become the key figure in The Diamond Necklace Affair, which many believe precipitated the French Revolution itself, and which would eventually lead to his own downfall and death while imprisoned and made half insane by the Inquisition.

  • Published: 31 December 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448108053
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288
Categories:

About the author

Iain McCalman

Iain McCalman was born in Nyasaland, Africa in 1947 and now lives in Sydney, where he is research professor at the University of Sydney. He has held numerous visiting research fellowships in Britain and the United States, including at All Souls, Oxford, and most recently at the Californian University of Technology, Pasadena. In 1994 he was awarded the inaugural Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence at the Australian National University, and in 2007 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for services to history and the humanities. His previous books include The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro, which has been translated into twelve languages, and he has been a historical consultant and narrator for a number of documentaries and films.

www.the-reef.com.au

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Praise for The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro

The dodgy count's switchback story is told here with tremendous aplomb

Financial Times

McCalman reveals the underside of the Age or Reason, and the dark man who served as its angel

Sunday Times

In glittering splendour McCalman reveals the underside of the age of reason, and the dark man who served as its angel

Sunday Times

Ian McCalman has written a fast-paced adventure and expose of the steamy side of the 18th century.

Daily Telegraph

This rich, fantastic, devilishly romantic book about one of the great flim-flam men of history is quite brilliant - utterly absorbing, bewilderingly clever and, like the man himself, a charming puzzle from beginning to end

Simon Winchester

Iain McCalman writes history which has the teasing, exciting psychological ambiguity of the best fiction

Peter Conrad

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