- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Press; Reprint edition (January 2, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1596915994
- ISBN-13: 978-1596915992
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 118 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World Reprint Edition
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"Thanks to Brook's roving and insatiably curious gaze, Vermeer's small scenes widen onto the broad panorama of world history . . . The result is like one of Vermeer's trademark reflective pearls that magically reveals a world beyond itself. A more entertaining guide to world history - and to Vermeer - is difficult to imagine." - Ross King, author of THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS, MICHELANGELO, and THE POPE'S CEILING AND BRUNELLESCHI'S DOME
"From the epicenter of Delft, Brook takes his readers on a journey that encompasses Chinese porcelain and beaver pelts, global temperatures and firearms, shipwrecked sailors and their companions, silver mines and Manila galleons. It is a book full of surprising pleasures." - Jonathan Spence, author of THE DEATH OF WOMAN WANG
"Elegant and quietly important . . . Brook does more than merely sketch the beginnings of globalization and highlight the forces that brought our modern world into being; rather, he offers a timely reminder of humanity's interdependence." - Seattle Times
"[An] elegant and quietly important book" - San Francisco Chronicle
"Brook utilizes the props in Vermeer's tableaux as starting points to journey into the cultural and economic world of the time: A teacup pours forth the history of the porcelain trade with China, while a felt hat is traced to beaver trapping in North America. It's a fascinating approach to cultural history, providing new ways of thinking about the origins of commonplace objects." - Entertainment Weekly, A grade, EW Pick
About the Author
Timothy Brook received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for the work on which this book is based. He holds the Shaw Chair in Chinese studies at Oxford University and is the author of many books, including the award-winning Confusions of Pleasure.
Top customer reviews
This is a book of first contacts. In a globalized world, we take for granted the diversity we see in society. But what happened the very FIRST time a Portuguese vessel marooned onto a beach of a tiny fishing village on the southeast coast of China? How did these Chinese fishermen, who knew of nothing else outside their own world, react to seeing the red-haired Dutch, Indian merchants, and African slaves coming from this one vessel? What about the first interactions between Europeans and the natives in North America? At times truly hilarious, at times saddening, but always engaging.
Oh, and the reference to Indra's web in this book has been used over and over again. Marvelous imagery.
Coincidentally, our local museum, where I am a docent, is currently featuring an exhibit of Baroque Florentine art. No Vermeer, of course. Things I learned from this book fit comfortably into my tours of the oil paintings as well as into a new exhibit of Middle Eastern art dating from the early first millennium to the present day. I treasure the book and am recommending it to every I know, whatever their interests.