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Pistols! Treason! Murder!


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A remarkable book, indeed a work of history of quite astonishing originality and brio. It is history that speaks to the tastes of the young of today in a way that few modern or postmodern histories have managed. It is a book that breathes new life, shape, and vigor into a discipline that has become flooded with stock and derivative studies. -- Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Walker handles the telling of this complex tale quite brilliantly through a series of varying narrative, graphic, and typographic techniques. This is an exhilarating and learned book, properly adventurous, pleasurably readable, likely to make its mark (and lift the occasional eyebrow). -- Ian Donaldson, former director of the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University

About the Author

Jonathan Walker is a senior research fellow in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. Together with Dan Hallett, he has recently finished an "illuminated novel," Five Wounds, which will be published in 2010. He is also working on a photographic essay on Venice entitled Let Us Burn the Gondolas: Venice as a Modern City.


A fascinating read for anyone interested in the seventeenth century, in Italy, or in the history of the spy business in general. -- Loretta Carrico-Russell Internet Review of Books In this highly original study, Walker uses conventional narrative together with comic-book graphics, varied type-faces, interview transcripts and quotes from contemporary plays to explore the process of history writing. -- P.D. Smith Guardian This book will infuriate as many scholars as it excites, but it is original, well written, and good. It should intrigue anyone who likes reading history. Library Journal Walker's diagnosis of the Venetian underworld is canny and his trespasses across the boundaries between author and subject lighthearted and fun. -- Thomas V. Cohen Renaissance Quarterly Walker blazes an important new path, and for this historians of the early modern world are much in his debt. -- Elizabeth Horodowich Journal of Modern History

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