The Rhine: Following Europe’s Greatest River from Amsterdam to the Alps
What a wonderful surprise. This is not a typical tourist cruise book of the Rhine. Instead, it is an epic description of the Rhine River and how it has shaped the culture and history of Europe. Amazingly talented, Ben Coates fluently uses his metaphoric skills to paint a vibrant portrait of this river’s influence in weaving the tapestry of European life. Starting at the North Sea from Amsterdam, the author traces the river back to its source through Germany and France, then onto its start in land-locked Switzerland and tiny Lichtenstein. Reviewing the history of the waterway from Norman and Roman times, to the internecine wars that ravaged the regions including the world wars, the river was essential as a thoroughfare and a boundary marker.
With his wry humor, the locals are differentiated and their biases exposed. Travel with this talented traveler and learn the influence of this celebrated river on writers such as Mary Shelly, Dostoevsky, and Byron, the musicians Beethoven and Wagner, and artists such as Turner. Watch the birth of the bicycle and the famed Mercedes-Benz, or read about Gutenberg and Erasmus and dream of the Lorelei. Savor some Rhine wines and be dazzled by the glitter of rhinestones and so much more in this fascinating and compelling story.
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