Crescent and Cross: The Battle of Lepanto 1571 (Anglais) Relié – 12 juin 2003
Les clients ayant acheté cet article ont également acheté
Descriptions du produit
Aucun appareil Kindle n'est requis. Téléchargez l'une des applis Kindle gratuites et commencez à lire les livres Kindle sur votre smartphone, tablette ou ordinateur.
Pour obtenir l'appli gratuite, saisissez votre adresse e-mail ou numéro de téléphone mobile.
Détails sur le produit
En savoir plus sur l'auteur
Dans ce livre(En savoir plus)
In a sixteenth century crowded with events the passage of time has revealed to be extremely significant, one has received disproportionate attention. Lire la première page
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
Commentaires en ligne
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
According to Bicheno, the harem was actually "a welfare system for deserving young ladies," and the Ottoman custom of using the harem to produce large number of royal siblings, then murdering all but one, a highly superior method of arranging the succession. He claims that the Turkish custom ("dervisma") of systematic kidnapping Christian children from villages so that they could be converted and enslaved, far from being barbaric, was actually so beneficial to the Christians that those who lived in cities actually sent their children out to the villages so they could have an equal opportunity to be snatched. (I am NOT making this up.) He describes the Ottoman society as being "highly dynamic."
These ravings don't just occur here and there, but are a drumbeat, which only let up when he launches into diatribes against Western civilization in general and Catholicism in particular. In short, the book is mostly politically correct nonsense, taken to extremes.
I did not expect this work to be a running screed against Catholicism and Western Civilization in general. As an Ottoman apologist supreme, Mr. Bicheno continuously points out the shortcomings of Christendom, while ignoring the entire point of the necessity for this great Battle - Islamic Jihad!
Is it really too much to ask what the Ottomans/Muslims were doing penetrating into Greece and Europe in the first place? For a much better discussion of this topic, please see "The Legacy of Jihad" by Andrew Bostom.
Once Hugh Bicheno finally gets to a description of the seminal 1571 Battle of Lepanto, he provides a lively survey of the action. However, I have to concur with other reviewers, who found that Bicheno has trouble in constructing a coherent, linear narrative to describe the people and events leading up to Lepanto. Stylistically, Bicheno at times comes across as a dilettante, his style sometimes falling to the level of a college sophomore English major - pretentious and long-winded. On a more substantive level - and as a great fan of JRR Tolkien it hurts for me to say this - I was disturbed by a lengthy (roughly 1 page) digression that Bicheno (writing at the time that the 'Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' film premiered) engages, drawing parallels between the 16th century that he writes about and the fictional 'legendarium' of Tolkien. While his points seem relevant, even spot-on, being as he compares apples and oranges (fiction versus history), it would have consigned his observations to, at most, an endnote.
I think a reader would be better served with either Ernle Bradford's 'The Great Siege' (which deals with an important precursor to Lepanto, the 1565 Great Siege of Malta) or Roger Crowley's excellent, and intelligible, 'Empires of the Sea', which comprehensively details both the Great Siege of 1565 and Lepanto.
The book opens with a Chronology of rulers from 1500 to 1600 and important events from 1492 to 1600. Eight pages of colour plates include, inter alia, portraits of Don John, Sultan Selim II, Pius V, and various battle scenes by artists like Vasari, Vicentino, Veronese, Titian, Sebastian de Caster and Juan Luna. The 8 pages of black and white plates include the flagships of Ali Pasha, Don John Of Austria, various types of armor and weaponry, papal galleys and some battle scenes. In addition, there are three diagrams in the text: a depiction of a Venetian light galley, fortification systems and the decorative stern of Don Juan's galley La Real. Thirteen excellent maps enhance the text, focusing on relevant parts of the Mediterranean and Adriatic, on the Ottoman expansion into Europe, Africa and Asia, the 1570 and 1571 campaigns, the battle site at Navpaktos at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth, the deployment of ships and different stages of the battle.
The vast scope of the book encompasses discussions of culture, religion and representations of the famous clash in Christian art and iconography. Bicheno deals extensively with the myth and the legend in literature by discussing and quoting works by Cervantes, Felix Lope de Vega y Carpio, Luis Velez de Guevara, Shakespeare (Othello), Thomas Moravius, Fernando de Herrera, Alonso de Ercilla y Zuniga and of course GK Chesterton and his magnificent poem Lepanto. The account of the battle itself is quite detailed as Bicheno draws on all available sources (whilst evaluating them) to analyse the vessels, the weaponry, the tactics, the terrible carnage and the liberation of the Christian slaves.
The author is highly critical of Europe and the fractious Christendom of the time in his introduction. He compares the world of the 16th century with our own time and is a Eurosceptic (good) but a bit too repetitive in his assertions of the supposed tolerance and civilizational superiority of the Ottoman Empire against the supposed backwardness of Europe (bad). Bicheno insists time and again that the battle had no major military significance and that the Catholic Church largely nurtured the legend of the great Christian victory. In this, he does not fully convince. Yes, the Turks immediately rebuilt their navy but it was done in great haste to produce a ramshackle fleet that never again threatened the West.
What makes the writing difficult to enjoy, if not exhausting, are the frequent detours that the narrative takes into the events leading up to 1571. Instead of pursuing a thread from beginning to end, the author frequently digresses by smothering the reader with a plethora of minor events, details and personalities so that the plot does not unfold smoothly. This occurs frequently as he deals with flashpoints of the conflict in Malta, Cyprus, Crete, Tunis, Djerba and along the Dalmatian coast. It really makes your head spin if you seek a linear progression of events.
The four appendices discuss the principal actors, the estimate of forces, orders of battle and casualties. There are 5 pages of bibliographic endnotes, a complete bibliography and an index. Despite my irritation with Bicheno's non-linear or frequently interrupted presentation of the conflict between the Holy League and the Ottomans that culminated at Lepanto, Crescent And Cross is a masterpiece of sorts, a most valuable reference work and a detailed study of the culture, weaponry, politics and personalities of the time.