Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Sep 4, 2007 - History - 400 pages
10 Reviews

Since its discovery in seventeenth–century India, the Hope diamond, a glimmering deep blue gem weighing over 45 carats, has been shrouded in mystery and steeped in intrigue. In this groundbreaking work, Dr. Richard Kurin goes beyond the speculation to reveal the truth behind a legendary stone.

Kurin, a cultural anthropologist, spent more than a decade on the trail of the legendary gem. But the 'curse' that surrounds it, which Kurin puts to rest once and for all, is only one small piece of a long and lustrous story that moves between ancient religion and modern magic, royal power and class rivalry, revenge and greed. Richly illustrated, Hope Diamond works in a grand historical tradition––depicting the specific to reveal the universal.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lisa.Johnson.James - LibraryThing

A book sponsored by & published by the Smithsonian itself, this is a truly fascinating look at the actual history of one of the most famous diamonds in the world. The author spent over 10 years in the ... Read full review

Review: Hope Diamond: The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem

User Review  - Davina - Goodreads

For me the book started off brilliantly but petered out towards the end. It was almost like he lost interest in the diamond in the last quarter of the book. Good historical notes of the diamond and assumptions of where it went during the lost years. Read full review

Contents

Gift to the Nation
3
Legend Delivered
11
THE EAST
12
Taverniers Quest
19
Golcondas Wealth
38
Cosmic Gem
45
THE WEST
51
The French Blue
59
McLeans Temptation
202
Modernitys Curse
216
Yohes Prop
220
High Society Talisman
224
Winstons Baby
234
Tax Deduction
248
AMERICAS DIAMOND 26 Museum Specimen 217868
267
National Treasure
273

Insignia of the Golden Fleece
76
Stolen Crown Jewel
83
Revolutionary Bribe
97
Carolines Legacy
106
Contraband
117
Georges Trophy
123
Hopes Collectible
141
Brunswicks Obsession
149
From Heirloom to Valuable
160
Ornament of the East
173
Love Commodity
183
Unlucky Inventory
189
Cartiers Story
198
Collection Keystone
283
Missing Pieces?
287
Pop Icon
296
EPILOGUE
301
Exorcising the Curse
303
Hope Diamond Timeline
313
Prices for the Blue Diamond
317
Acknowledgments
319
Photographs and Illustrations
323
Text Excerpts and Lyrics
329
Endnotes and References
331
Index
377
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Dr. Richard Kurin is the director of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage where he oversees the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, and other cultural heritage programs. A former Fulbright fellow with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, he is the author of Reflections of a Culture Broker: A View from the Smithsonian. Dr. Kurin has been awarded the Smithsonian Secretary's Gold Medal for Exceptional Service and the American Folklore Society's Botkin Prize for lifetime achievement.

Bibliographic information