Editorial Reviews. phunctibalmyimie.tk Review. If your pulse flutters at the thought of castle ruins and The Historian - Kindle edition by Elizabeth Kostova. Download it. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Read "The Historian" by Elizabeth Kostova available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. To you, perceptive reader, I bequeath.
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The Office of the Historian offers ebook editions of a growing number of volumes from the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series. Far lighter and. READ PDF Online The Historian By Elizabeth Kostova Best Ebook download # pdf phunctibalmyimie.tk?q=The+Historian. EBOOK AVAILABILITY And then one day the Magician is gone, Gloria is gone, and the Historian has spirited Hannah Praise for The Historian's Daughter.
It is first and foremost a story of a father and daughter who each becomes embroiled in the Dracula legend. It is also though the story of a missing man, a forgotten love, and another daughter who wants the truth.
It is the story of men of God who protect a devil and Turks and Romanians and Bulgarians and a lot of monasteries. There are libraries and archives and ancient clues, even an ancient society of warriors.
There are many many dragons. In short, The Historian is all things that make a book compulsively readable and everything that a truly gifted author can produce. Over both time periods the specter of their quarry hangs heavily, and ominously. Dracula is everywhere it seems, throughout the historical documents they read; in the places they visit, in the faces of those who try to stop them.
Ultimately he proves to be crueler then they could have imagined and his effect on all of their lives is incalculable. The Historian was a fantastic read and the only thing that I believe would have made it better was my timing. It is a great book for October I think, for that month which Ray Bradbury has characterized so well as the truly most frightening time of the year. When my father was away, the handsome house echoed.
No one could help me with my algebra, no one admired my new coat or told me to come here and give him a hug, or expressed shock over how tall I had grown. When my father returned from some name on the European map that hung on the wall in our dining room, he smelled like other times and places, spicy and tired. We took our vacations in Paris or Rome, diligently studying the landmarks my father thought I should see, but I longed for those other places he disappeared to, those strange old places I had never been.
While he was gone, I went back and forth to school, dropping my books on the polished hall table with a bang.
Neither Mrs. Clay nor my father let me go out in the evenings, except to the occasional carefully approved movie with carefully approved friends, and—to my retrospective astonishment— I never flouted these rules. I preferred solitude anyway; it was the medium in which I had been raised, in which I swam comfortably.
I excelled at my studies but not in my social life. Girls my age terrified me, especially the tough-talking, chain-smoking sophisticates of our diplomatic circle— around them I always felt that my dress was too long, or too short, or that I should have been wearing something else entirely.
Boys mystified me, although I dreamed vaguely of men. He had long since given me free run of his collection. During his absences, I spent hours doing my homework at the mahogany desk or browsing the shelves that lined every wall. I understood later that my father had either half forgotten what was on one of the top shelves or—more likely—assumed I would never be able to reach it; late one night I took down not only a translation of theKama Sutra but also a much older volume and an envelope of yellowing papers.
But the image I saw at the center of the book, the smell of age that rose from it, and my discovery that the papers were personal letters all caught my attention forcibly. Clay might suddenly come in to dust the dustless desk—that must have been what made me look over my shoulder at the door. December 12, Trinity College, Oxford My dear and unfortunate successor: It is with regret that I imagine you, whoever you are, reading the account I must put down here.
The regret is partly for myself—because I will surely be at least in trouble, maybe dead, or perhaps worse, if this is in your hands. But my regret is also for you, my yet-unknown friend, because only by someone who needs such vile information will this letter someday be read.
If you are not my successor in some other sense, you will soon be my heir—and I feel sorrow at bequeathing to another human being my own, perhaps unbelievable, experience of evil. At this point, my sense of guilt—and something else, too—made me put the letter hastily back in its envelope, but I thought about it all that day and all the next. When my father returned from his latest trip, I looked for an opportunity to ask him about the letters and the strange book. I waited for him to be free, for us to be alone, but he was very busy in those days, and something about what I had found made me hesitate to approach him.
Finally I asked him to take me on his next trip. It was the first time I had kept a secret from him and the first time I had ever insisted on anything. Reluctantly, my father agreed. He talked with my teachers and with Mrs. Clay, and reminded me that there would be ample time for my homework while he was in meetings. I packed my navy suitcase, taking my schoolbooks and too many pairs of clean kneesocks. Instead of leaving the house for school that morning, I departed with my father, walking silently and gladly beside him toward the station.
A train carried us to Vienna; my father hated planes, which he said took the travel out of traveling. There we spent one short night in a hotel. Another train took us through the Alps, past all the whiteand-blue heights of our map at home.
Outside a dusty yellow station, my father started up our rented car, and I held my breath until we turned in at the gates of a city he had described to me so many times that I could already see it in my dreams.
Autumn comes early to the foot of the Slovenian Alps. Even before September, the abundant harvests are followed by a sudden, poignant rain that lasts for days and brings down leaves in the lanes of the villages.
Now, in my fifties, I find myself wandering that direction every few years, reliving my first glimpse of the Slovenian countryside. This is old country. Every autumn mellows it a little more,in aeternum, each beginning with the same three colors: a green landscape, two or three yellow leaves falling through a gray afternoon.
I suppose the Romans—who left their walls here and their gargantuan arenas to the west, on the coast—saw the same autumn and gave the same shiver.
For the first time, I had been struck by the excitement of the traveler who looks history in her subtle face. Emona was built on Bronze Age pilings along a river now lined with art-nouveau architecture. For centuries, river cargo had been hoisted up at that place to feed the town. And where primitive huts had once proliferated on the shore, sycamores—the European plane tree—now grew to an immense girth above the river walls and dropped curls of bark into the current.
Emona, like her sisters to the south, showed flourishes of a chameleon past: Viennese Deco along the skyline, great red churches from the Renaissance of its Slavic-speaking Catholics, hunched brown medieval chapels with the British Isles in their features. Saint Patrick sent missionaries to this region, bringing the new creed full circle, back to its Mediterranean origins, so that the city claims one of the oldest Christian histories in Europe. Here and there an Ottoman element flared in doorways or in a pointed window frame.
Next to the market grounds, one little Austrian church sounded its bells for the evening mass. Men and women in blue cotton work coats were moving toward home at the end of the socialist workday, holding umbrellas over their packages.
As my father and I drove into the heart of Emona, we crossed the river on a fine old bridge, guarded at each end by green-skinned bronze dragons. Would you like some hot tea? Or we could get a snack at thatgastronomia. The train trip from Vienna had taken nearly a day and I was hungry again, in spite of our lunch in the dining car.
But it was not thegastronomia, with its red and blue interior lights gleaming through one dingy window, its waitresses in their navy platform sandals—doubtless—and its sullen picture of Comrade Tito, that snared us. As we picked our way through the wet crowd, my father suddenly darted forward. He had found the entrance to an art-nouveau teahouse, a great scrolled window with storks wading across it, bronze doors in the form of a hundred water-lily stems.
The doors closed heavily behind us and the rain faded to a mist, mere steam on the windows, seen through those silver birds as a blur of water.
I had lately come to dislike the way he blew on his tea over and over to cool it, and to dread the inevitable moment when he said we should stop eating, stop doing whatever was enjoyable, save room for dinner. Looking at him in his neat tweed jacket and turtleneck, I felt he had denied himself every adventure in life except diplomacy, which consumed him.
He would have been happier living a little, I thought; with him, everything was so serious. But I was silent, because I knew he hated my criticism, and I had something to ask. Through the silver-mottled window I could see a wet city, gloomy in the deepening afternoon, and people passing in a rush through horizontal rain.
The teahouse, which should have been filled with ladies in long straight gowns of ivory gauze, or gentlemen in pointed beards and velvet coat collars, was empty. We were alone together on their far side, now.
I hesitated, took a breath. This strange gesture alerted me at once. He glanced at me, under his eyebrows, and I was surprised to see how drawn and sad he looked. The small blond waitress refilled our cups and left us alone again, and still he had a hard time getting started.
Chapter 2 You already know, my father said, that before you were born I was a professor at an American university. Before that, I studied for many years to become a professor. At first I thought I would study literature. Then, however, I realized I loved true stories even better than imaginary ones. All the literary stories I read led me into some kind of—exploration—of history.
So finally I gave myself up to it. One spring night when I was still a graduate student, I was in my carrel at the university library, sitting alone very late among rows and rows of books.
Looking up from my work, I suddenly realized that someone had left a book whose spine I had never seen before among my own textbooks, which sat on a shelf above my desk. The spine of this new book showed an elegant little dragon, green on pale leather. The binding was soft, faded leather, and the pages inside appeared to be quite old. It opened easily to the very center. Across those two pages I saw a great woodcut of a dragon with spread wings and a long looped tail, a beast unfurled and raging, claws outstretched.
But the spelling of the word was odd and the book clearly very old. I flipped through the rest of the pages—when you handle books all day long, every new one is a friend and a temptation. To my further surprise, the rest of it—all those fine old ivory-colored leaves—was completely blank.
It showed no imprint of the university library, no card or stamp or label. After gazing at the book for a few more minutes, I set it on my desk and went down to the card catalog on the first floor.
Transylvania looked more mountainous, with Wallachia bordering it on the southwest. The mention of Nuremberg gave me a chill; only a few years earlier, I had followed closely the trials there of Nazi leaders. The image was surprisingly lively, given the primitive medium.
I shut the little volume with a snap and went back to my carrel. The seventeenth century consumed my attention until nearly midnight. I left the strange book lying closed on my desk, hoping its owner would find it there the next day, and then I went home to bed. In the morning I had to attend a lecture. I was tired from my long night, but after class I drank two cups of coffee and went back up to my research. The antique book was still there, lying open now to that great swirling dragon.
After my short sleep and jarring lunch of coffee, it gave me a turn, as old novels used to say. I looked at the book again, more carefully. The central image was clearly a woodcut, perhaps a medieval design, a fine sample of bookmaking.
On my way out of the library, I stopped at the front desk and handed the volume to one of the librarians, who promised to put it in the lost-and-found cabinet. I felt some annoyance—probably the librarian had misunderstood me. I put the thing quickly away on my shelves and came and went all day without letting myself look at it again. In the late afternoon I had a meeting with my adviser, and as I swept up my papers, I pulled out the strange book and added it to the pile.
He might be able to identify it, too, with his vast knowledge of European history. I had the habit of meeting Rossi as he finished his afternoon lecture, and I liked to sneak into the hall before it ended, to watch him in action.
This semester he was giving a course on the ancient Mediterranean, and I had caught the end of several lectures, each brilliant and dramatic, each imbued with his great gift for oratory. The hall was dim, a vast Gothic auditorium that held five hundred undergraduates. The hush, too, would have suited a cathedral.
Not a soul stirred; all eyes were fixed on the trim figure at the front. Rossi was alone on a lit stage. Sometimes he wandered back and forth, exploring ideas aloud as if ruminating to himself in the privacy of his study. Sometimes he stopped suddenly, fixing his students with an intense stare, an eloquent gesture, an astonishing declaration.
He ignored the podium, scorned microphones, and never used notes, although occasionally he showed slides, rapping the huge screen with a pole to make his point. Sometimes he got so excited that he raised both arms and ran partway across the stage. Today he was in a pensive mood, pacing up and down with his hands behind his back. Instead of adhering to limited accuracy, he used his imagination to create a palace style breathtakingly whole—and flawed. Was he wrong to do this?
Five hundred pairs of eyes gazed back at him. There was an intake of breath; the students began to talk and laugh, to collect their belongings. Rossi usually went to sit on the edge of the stage after the lecture, and some of his more avid disciples hurried forward to ask him questions.
These he answered with seriousness and good humor until the last student had trailed away, and then I went over to greet him. His mind was another thing altogether.
Even after forty years of strict self-apprenticeship, it boiled over with remnants of the past, simmered with the unsolved. His encyclopedic production had long since won him accolades in a publishing world much wider than the academic press. As soon as he finished one work, he turned to another, often an abrupt change of direction. As a result, students from a myriad of disciplines sought him out, and I was considered lucky to have acquired his advisership.
He served up his fine coffee in porcelain cups and we both stretched back, he behind the big desk. The room was permeated with the pleasant gloom that still came in at that hour, later each evening now that spring was deepening. Then I remembered my antique offering. This leather might even be some kind of heavy vellum. And an embossed spine.
It opened under his practiced hands to its exact center. His face was suddenly grave—a still face, and not one I knew. But not blank because it is unfinished. Just terribly blank, to make the ornament in the center stand out.
Rossi seemed unable to drag his eyes from that central image spread before him. At last he shut the book firmly and stirred his coffee without sipping it. He looked ten years older, by some trick of the light from the dusky window. He stood looking at it for a minute, as if unwilling to put it in my hands.
Then he passed it across. It had a bronze-colored clasp that slipped apart with a little pressure. The book itself fell open to the middle. There, spread across the center, was my—I saymy —dragon, this time overflowing the edges of the pages, claws outstretched, savage beak open to show its fangs, with the same bannered word in the same Gothic script. No titles on the first pages—no, I knew it already. You see, I actually took the trouble of getting a chemical analysis.
It cost me three hundred dollars to learn that this thing sat in an environment heavily laden with stone dust at some point, probably prior to I also went all the way to Istanbul to try to learn more about its origins. But the strangest thing is the way I acquired this book. We had them, too. The custom goes back to seventh-century monasteries, you know. A gift?
He seemed to be controlling some difficult emotion. Even the British Museum Library had never seen it before and offered me a considerable sum for it. I like a puzzle, as you know. So does every scholar worth his salt. Do you think this larger copy was made by the same printer at the same time? Impatience, and a slightly fevered feeling I often had in those days from lack of sleep and mental overexertion, made me hurry him on. Not just the chemical analysis.
You said you tried to learn more —? Not on most of my students, anyway. A feudal lord in the Carpathians, otherwise known as Bela Lugosi. They were an ancient family before their most unpleasant member came to power. Did you look him up on your way out of the library? Must redeem within 90 days. See full terms and conditions and this month's choices. Tell us what you like, so we can send you books you'll love.
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