The Raven King: Matthias Corvinus and the Fate of His Lost Library

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 265 pages
3 Reviews

Seizing the Hungarian throne at the age of fifteen, Matthias Corvinus, the "Raven King,” was an effervescent presence on the fifteenth-century stage. A successful warrior and munificent art patron, he sought to leave as symbols of his strategic and humanist ambitions a strong, unified country, splendid palaces, and the most magnificent library in Christendom. But Hungary, invaded by Turkey after Matthias's death in 1490, yielded its treasures, and the Raven King’s exquisite library of two thousand volumes, witness to a golden cultural age, was dispersed first across Europe and then the world.

The quest to recover this collection of sumptuously illuminated scripts provoked and tantalized generations of princes, cardinals, collectors, and scholars and imbued Hungarians with the mythical conviction that the restoration of the lost library would seal their country's rebirth. In this thrilling and absorbing account, drawing on a wealth of original sources in several languages, Marcus Tanner tracks the destiny of the Raven King and his magnificent bequest, uncovering the remarkable story of a life and library almost lost to history.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: The Raven King: Matthias Corvinus and the Fate of His Lost Library

User Review  - Karen - Goodreads

There are few books in English that are written about this great and beloved king of Hungary, and I was so glad to have found this one. My only complaint is that I wish it had been put together better ... Read full review

Review: The Raven King: Matthias Corvinus and the Fate of His Lost Library

User Review  - Maekala - Goodreads

The Raven King tells the story of both Mattias Corvinus and his famous library and, in so doing, also tells part of the history of many of the people and some of the places involved. Tanner keeps the ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter One Deep inside the palace
1
Chapter Two Beyond the forest
20
Chapter Three I delight in everything thats new
33
Copyright

11 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Marcus Tanner is a journalist and writer, editor of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, and a leader-writer for the Independent. His previous books include Croatia, Ireland's Holy Wars, and The Last of the Celts, all published by Yale University Press.

Bibliographic information