'Adam Zamoyski's dashing account of the romantic movement, HOLY MADNESS, is bold narrative history at its most imaginative' Observer
From America's fight for independence to the Paris Commune - an exotic collection of fanatics, adventurers, poets and thinkers are brought vividly to life.
HOLY MADNESS probes into the psyche that was responsible for so many of the founding events of our modern world, and into the instincts that inspired its most generous and most murderous impulses. It explains how the Enlightenment dislodged Christianity from its central position in the life of European societies and how man's quest for ecstasy and transcendence flooded into areas such as the arts, spawning the Romantic movement.
This dramatic journey which begins in America in 1776 and goes right up to the last agony of the Paris Commune in 1871, takes in the French revolution, the Irish rebellion, the Polish risings, the war of Greek liberation, the Russian insurrection, the Hungarian struggles for freedom, the liberation of South America, and the Italian Risorgimento.
'An ambitious and in many ways brilliant book' Hilary Mantel
A benchmark that will revise our reading of this vivid period: that between the onset of the two Industrial Revolutions, between Blake and Balzac, which saw the birth and rise, not just of nationalism, but of internationalism - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
An ambitious and in many ways brilliant book - DAILY TELEGRAPH
Adam Zamoyski's dashing account of the romantic movement, HOLY MADNESS, is bold narrative history at its most imaginative - OBSERVER
HOLY MADNESS is deceptive, a scholarly work written so attractively that it is easy to miss the deep themes which bring unity and purpose to the book - LITERARY REVIEW
Zamoyski's main narrative is a riveting tale of the standard bearers of nationalism from Jefferson to Garibaldi and from the American War of Independence to the Paris Commune of 1871. He achieves striking effects both through antinomy and a quasi-cinematic montage...a page-turner - GLASGOW HERALD
Ambitious, stimulating and disturbing....the parade of heroism and folly he presents makes a riveting spectacle - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Splendidly descriptive, full of music and colour...both charming and learned - THE TIMES