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Download A Christmas Cracker Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Christmas Cracker, by John Julius Norwich
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (409 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Julius Norwich Narrator: John Julius Norwic Publisher: Hodder Headline Limited Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The perfect collection of jokes, anecdotes, quotes and much more, performed live in front of an appreciative audience - a brilliant stocking filler to suit all tastes.

For over 30 years, John Julius Norwich has been sending out his Christmas Crackers a personal collection of quirky quotes and literary odds and ends to his friends instead of a Christmas card.

In September 2007 an invited audience enjoyed a special performance by John Julius Norwich of a selection from his Christmas Crackers at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London to benefit the Venice in Peril Fund. Listeners to this audiobook can share the delight of the live audience as John Julius entertains us with a compilation of anecdote, prose, poetry and even song that is as charmingly conceived as it is delightfully performed.

The Venice in Peril Fund was created after the great flood of 1966. Since then, the Fund has disbursed millions of pounds for the restoration of Venetian monuments, buildings and works of art. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kevin | 2/5/2014

    " One of the most authoritative histories of Venice. A slow read at times because it's a lot of facts about wars and beheadings, but good for a long commute on the subway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bap | 1/21/2014

    " As Rome tottered and fell in the fifth century, refugees fled to the islands off the northeast coast of the Adriadic. The few miles off the mainland provided a sanctuary where a remarkable city state and empire developed that remained independent until 1797 when Napoleon seized the city and wiped away it's independence. A weighty tome at 647 pages, it gallops over a 1200 span focusing on politics and a dizzying catalog of wars, won and lost. The city prospered by looking towards Asia where it cornered much of the lucrative trade. Venice was always single-minded in its pursuit of advantage and with its domination of the seas it established a string of colonies, picking over the carcus of a declining Byzantine empire to pick up Cyprus, Corfu, Crete, and cities along the coast of Greece and Asia. Venice diverted one of the crusades to sack Constantanople and steal art treasures to adorn their churches in Venice. However, the dismantling of the Byzantines paved the way for the ascendancy of the Turks who in turn conquered the Venetian colonies and broke the back of the Venetian trade monopoly. At the same time the Portuguese showed the way to Asia by maritime routes which further eroded the vitality go Venice. Venice then turned to expanding its sway over northern Italy ruling Padua, Verona, and many other smaller cities of the north. This, in turn brought them into almost constant warfare with their neighbors marked by shifting alliances and the use of mercenaries. Venice fought with Genoa, Florence, Milan, Naples, the French, pirates from the Dalmatian coast, the Turks, various popes, Hungarian marauders. Venice held its own with a quirky constitution that called for elected Doges, and a legislature of nobles. Time and again, when faced with a crisis, the Venetians imposed a stiff war tax and rallied to the colors. The book is relatively weak on the cultural achievements of Venice which built magnificent churches and was the inspiration for wonderful artists even as their power waned. Venice shows then declining empires can be a crucible for artistic genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michael | 1/21/2014

    " A charming history of Venice by someone who clearly loves the city. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Caitlin | 1/17/2014

    " Well-told, interesting, and accurate overview of Venetian history, read fall '11 for HUMA 6300 with Dr. Redman. "

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About the Author
Author John Julius Norwich

John Julius Norwich is one of Britain’s preeminent historians and travel writers. He has written the histories of Norman Sicily, Byzantium, Venice, and the Mediterranean. Other books have been on Shakespeare’s history plays, on music, and on architecture.