Every Valley: The Desperate Lives and Troubled Times That Made Handel's Messiah

Pre-Order   Ships Oct 29, 2024

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$32.00  $29.76
Doubleday Books
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About the Author

CHARLES KING is the author of eight books, most recently Gods of the Upper Air, a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, and winner of the Francis Parkman Prize. His Odessa won a National Jewish Book Award. He is a professor of international affairs and government at Georgetown University


"Ecstatic, affecting, entirely weird, Handel's Messiah indeed seems -- as a listener wrote after its 1742 Dublin debut -- "a species of music different from any other." With brio, Charles King pulls aside the curtain behind the work, to reveal the scandal and intrigue, opportunists and thugs, deep pain and soaring optimism, that Handel transmuted, in less than a month, into a sublime 130 pages. A book of power and glory, brimming with emotion and dazzling in its reach."--Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra and The Revolutionary

"In Every Valley, Charles King shows in exquisite detail how George Frideric Handel's epic work, the Messiah, sprang not from one solitary composer's genius but out of the dramatic interplay of eighteenth-century lives and their times. Note by note, page by page, King takes us beyond an imagined Enlightenment to the sobering realities of a world that included the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. Every Valley is a fascinating book, of interest to scholars and accessible to all readers."--Henry Louis Gates Jr., author of Stony the Road

"Vividly depicting life in Britain during the turbulence of the 1700's, Charles King celebrates Handel's Messiah as a glorious beacon of hope."--Elaine Pagels, National Book Award-winning author of The Gnostic Gospels