The Sancy Blood Diamond

Author: Susan Ronald
Publisher: Wiley
ISBN: 9781620457191
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The fascinating six-hundred-year history of one of the world's most coveted gems and the royal feuds, intrigues, and betrayals it engendered The Sancy Diamond first came to Europe from India in the fourteenth century, and until 1661 it was the largest white diamond-and the most concentrated and secure form of wealth-in all of Christendom. Alternately believed to impart invincibility to its wearer and to bring ruin to any who owned it, the Sancy cast a seemingly mystical spell over everyone from the king of Portugal to Henry III of France to England's Elizabeth I to Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Maria Luisa of Spain. The riveting account of one of the most hotly pursued gems in history, The Sancy Blood Diamond follows its six-century journey from the diamond mines of Golconda to where it now modestly resides at the Louvre, among the remnants of the French crown jewels. In a colorful, fast-paced narrative, historian Susan Ronald describes the often violent passions the Sancy engendered among many of the giants of European history. She also describes the pivotal roles it played on the chessboard of European geopolitics, and how it was used to raise armies, settle national debts, and enhance its owners' power and prestige. Working from primary sources, Ronald solves, once and for all, the mystery of the Sancy's disappearances in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and she explores the legend of the Sancy curse, which arose after the violent deaths of Burgundy's Charles the Bold, England's Charles I, France's Louis XVI, and other ill-fated owners.

Hitler s Art Thief

Author: Susan Ronald
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1250061091
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The sensational story of a cache of masterpieces not seen since they vanished during the Nazi terror--a bizarre tale of a father and aged son, of secret deals, treachery and the search for truth.

Heretic Queen

Author: Susan Ronald
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0312645384
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A chronicle of Elizabeth I's role in the wars of religion credits her with securing England's future as a world power, covering topics ranging from the queen's use of ambivalence as a political tool to her tolerance in religious matters and the challenges of the Reformation.

A Dangerous Woman

Author: Susan Ronald
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250092221
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A revealing biography of Florence Gould, fabulously wealthy socialite and patron of the arts, who hid a dark past as a Nazi collaborator in 1940’s Paris. Born in turn-of-the-century San Francisco to French parents, Florence moved to Paris, aged eleven. Believing that only money brought respectability and happiness, she became the third wife of Frank Jay Gould, son of the railway millionaire Jay Gould. She guided Frank’s millions into hotels and casinos, creating a luxury hotel and casino empire. She entertained Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Joseph Kennedy, and many Hollywood stars, like Charlie Chaplin, who became her lover. While the party ended for most Americans after the Crash of 1929, Frank and Florence refused to go home. During the Occupation, Florence took several German lovers and hosted a controversial salon. As the Allies closed in, the unscrupulous Florence became embroiled in a notorious money laundering operation for fleeing high-ranking Nazis. Yet after the war, not only did she avoid prosecution, but her vast fortune bought her respectability as a significant contributor to the Metropolitan Museum and New York University, among many others. It also earned her friends like Estée Lauder who obligingly looked the other way. A seductive and utterly amoral woman who loved to say “money doesn’t care who owns it”, Florence’s life proved a strong argument that perhaps money can buy happiness after all.

Blood on the Stone

Author: Ian Smillie
Publisher: Anthem Press
ISBN: 0857289632
Format: PDF
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Africa’s diamond wars took four million lives. ‘Blood on the Stone’ tells the story of how diamonds came to be so dangerous, describing the great diamond cartel and a dangerous pipeline leading from war-torn Africa to the glittering showrooms of Paris, London and New York. It describes the campaign that forced an industry and more than 50 governments to create a global control mechanism, and it provides a sobering prognosis on its future.