The French Blue MOBI ´ The French Kindle -


10 thoughts on “The French Blue

  1. says:

    NO SPOILERSI finished the book last night This was for me a four star book It is an adventure story about Jean Baptiste Tavernier's life It is historical fiction I preferred the historical aspects of the story Descriptions of people and places and customs were done magnificently I was less drawn to the plot of the story I enjoyed reading the separate episodes I loved the chapter about Princess Jahamara and the Kama Sutra You smile Sex was delightfully depicted This book is filled with many many adventures and they are fun to read about I do believe that by the end of the book the reader understands who Tavernier was as a person I understood Madeleine with my head but I never cared for her with my heart as I did with Tavernier I liked her better in the beginning rather than at the end but I will not say why That would be a spoiler The reason why I give it four rather than five stars is because it remains to me an adventure STORY For many others that is enough to award it five stars I personally am drawn to fact over fiction and although all the facts that are known about Tavernier's life are skillfully interwoven into the story it remains a story For me a five star book has to be utterly AMAZING This book was very very good Maybe if all the fun different episodes had held together it would have worked better for me Instead I enjoyed that episode and that episode and that one but they were not linked together to build a whole that ended up AMAZING I am very glad I read this book I learned about history and locations and gens and the gentleman's code of behavior One thing I loved how the appearance of a person was so wonderfully depicted After reading a description the characters stood before you visible in your mind's eye Some of them you could even smellThrough page 226 I have been uestioned if this book should be shelved as history or non fiction In my mind it is good historical FICTION It is a rollicking adventure story based on a real person's life Further note the discussion Tara and I are having I have now met Madeleine de Goisse the love of his life She has spirit If I may uote one sentence I will be no man's chattel?Are her actions believable? The reader must judge for themself Is the story fun? Absolutely Remember no spoiler Tara is currently reading this book too Our views diverge Check out the comments under her review too Tara is a wonderfull friend of mine but that does not mean we must always have the same views on books Through page 172 I am really enjoying myself Gems history travels and captivating storytelling all rolled up in a marvelous bundle Visiting thee ancient cities is marvelous First of all they cannot today be seen as they were then and armchair travel is so much easier than real travel One uote about Istafan Persia Istafan together with its suburbs is than twice the size of Paris and the population is ten times greater than our capitalThe city has one hundred sixty two mosues forty eight colleges and twelve cemeteries It is situated in the middle of a broad fertile plain that spreads fifteen leagues in each direction The plain is planted with all manner of trees and crops sufficient to feed the entire population of the city There are no villages just tiny clusters of houses used by those that work the land and plain tree shaded channels that have been dug to provide irrigationBetween seven and eight o'clock each morning it is the custom of the citizens of Istafan to repair to the coffee houses where they smoke tobacco and gossip with friendsThe next chapter entitled Madame Twelve Tomans I imagine will thrust me into the tale of Tavernier's love life NOW I think I have said enouogh so I can just read the book for awhileThrough page 158 The last chapter has cenntered upon the Thirty Years War to put it succinctly a conflict between the Catholic and the Protestant faiths Fascinationg to read again about King Gustav Adolf of Sweden and Wallenstein the Austrian Generalissimo and the Holy Roman Emperor about the Battle at Lützen where Gustav Adolf was killed and about the assassination of Wallenstein Tavernier's role in the assassination is plausible In Prague I have visited the Wallenstein Palace and read all the nasty things they say about the Swedes There are beautiful peacocks in the gardens Being Swedes ourselves we chose to speak English as tourists Prague is a city that MUST be visited before it is inundated by all the touristsThrough page 58 The best way to explain the manner of the storytelling is perhaps via a uote We departed the Persian capital with ten camels four to carry my goodsand four to carry myself Danusch and my two servants with two animals as spares The caravan consisted of than one hundred fifty merchants our small retinue almost lost among the thousand men and beasts bound for the port of Bander Abbas on the Persian Gulf My own goal was the island of Bahrain the center of pearl fishing in the GulfOn caravan each morning is much the sameThe most devout of the Arab camel herders unrolled their rugs in the direction of Mecca and prayed Danush was not the most devout of men but he could not resist the pointed glances of his co religionists Silently he would unroll his prayer rug and with a surly side ways glance kneel and join their devotions while I stood silently beating my arms and stamping my feet to drive the cold from my night stiff limbsOnce the prayers were over Danush prepared breakfast First he added small chips of camel dung to build up the fire that had been carefully banked the night before He filled a fire blackened pot and boiled tea Then he then dug up the pita the thin flat bread that had been mixed kneaded flattened and placed in shallow holes scraped in the bare earth covered over with dirt and hot ashes from the fire Raw onions tangy hummus the warm pita and bitter green tea were our usual fareMost of the merchants were clad in Bedouin attire long robes andThrough such detailed description the reader can draw a picture in their minds of what is happening the smells the feel the texture of the surroundings This is what I mean by wonderful storytelling There is alot of action and the dialogue fits perfectly each given situation Two minor complaints there are small typographical errors and I wish MORE maps were provided I would have loved to see the trajectory of all travels plotted onto maps This is not serious I just had to grap my own atlas It is fun to see the voyages plotted out and think that this took place in the 1600s Through page 56 Before starting this book I had absolutely no interest in the gem trade I picked this book out bc I was interested in its emphasis on travel during the 1600s Now I find the gem trade enthralling Terms such as washing the eyes in the bargaining process the different ualities of turuoise Piruzeh in Farsi angustari arabi and barkhneh and both history and customs of the Persian sheks shahs and tradesmen are depicted through delightful storytelling This is proving to be a delightful adventure story for adults Never boring The subjects touched upon are to me both new and intriguing Through page 20 Marvelous storytelling from the first page explains why Tavernier from a young age becam interested in travelling the seas The author adroitly chooses his words to anchor the setting in the 1600s in a world of cartography uestions concerning Tera Australis Incognita Portugese sailing prowess the legendary cities of Goa and Madras sites along the Malabar coast hourglasses fighting with cutlass dirk and rapier The dialogue is perfect Tavernier made six voyages to India and Persia from 1630 to 1668 On his last voyage he returned with the French Blue the diamond from which the Hope Diamond is carved He sold this diamond tp France's Sun King Louis XIV for 147 kilos of pure gold In the next chapter Tavernier is off on his first voyage No dwadling here the adventurey has begun Before reading Yoohoo yoohoo pay attention I got it Yipee Richard thank you very much for sending this What is this super jet airmail? Yesterday Richard said it was on the way and today I get it And it is a hardcover signed by Richard Lovely pictures and maps and drawings What can I say? I am impressed I adore hardovers but I rarely treat myself to themLauren thank you putting in a good word for me


  2. says:

    The French Blue is a fascinating debut historical fiction novel It is about Jean Baptiste Tavernier the son of a cartographer who finds his fortune as a gem trader The novel is drawn from Tavernier's own memoirs of his travels mixed with knowledge of gemstones genuine historical research and some imaginative storytelling to tie together Tavernier's life and fill in gaps in the historical record It is uite lengthy but grabbed me in instantaneously thanks to marvelous prose and electrifying storytellingThe novel begins with Jean Baptiste Tavernier as a little boy He meets a Portuguese sailor who tells him a fantastic story about a sea voyage to Australia and a horrific counter with the aborigines Jean Baptiste develops the ambition to see the world Jean Baptiste becomes a gem trader traveling to Persia India Burma and other exotic locales He meets fantastic historical figures from the cardinal Mazarin to Louis XIV as a young boyman to Shah Jehan of the Mogul Empire to the Shah of Persia The novel includes plenty of intrigue with Jean Baptiste going to great lengths to find the sources of pearls rubies and diamonds facing danger along the way from pirates religious fanatics authoritarian monarchs and other fascinating characters The novel also features romance in the form of the daughter of the Shah of Persia and a French courtesan who becomes Jean Baptiste's lifelong love interest as well as Jean Baptiste's liaisons with a married Countess as well as Shah Jehan's daughter Ultimately the novel is the back story of the stone that eventually was cut into the Hope DiamondWise is a great writer He has a gift for transporting his readers to both faraway places and faraway times Sometimes historical novels are not fully divorced from modernity with excessively modern protagonists with modern ideas Wise's Jean Baptiste Tavernier is decidedly not modern Jean Baptiste's accounts of his encounters with the natives often smack of ethnocentrism However this is a great strength as a seventeenth century man even one as worldly as Tavernier would have viewed the world through a mindset of European superiorityIn short this novel is so much than a novel about the gem trade It is a novel about the growth of colonialism about empires that no longer exist about travel and ambition and fearlessness Jean Baptiste Tavernier was an amazing man each of his six voyages to the east took several years reuiring arduous treks through mountains across the dessert across the sea and through jungles As is clear from the novel Europeans often did not survive in the tropical climates of India and Indonesia yet Jean Baptiste pressed on filled with ambition to find the most valuable stone known to Europe While gemology is clearly Wise's passion gemology itself is secondary to the story of Jean Baptiste Tavernier the adventurer The author sent me a review copy of this novel


  3. says:

    Having given up this book previously due to my own lack of interest I was convinced by numerous friends and some tantalizing references to finish it I should have left well enough alone but now I can be completely fair in my review and rating My opinions below remain the same Every woman in this book EXCEPT Jean's mother and Anne of Austria comes across as a Bond girl NOT FOR ME Madeleine having been a strong and likeable woman at first is a greedy and unlikeable I'm thinking 5 letters adjective first letter B also means female dog by the end of the novel and I thought Jean would indeed be better off letting her wallow like a pig in a trough And Princess Jahanara oh my Is it a good adventure? Yes Does it have pirates? Only one chapter Did I like it? No Sorry guys I picked this up cause of all the hoopla Everybody loves this book Out of 14 reviews on all but one are 5 stars The lone outcast gave it gasp a 4 I'm not gonna lie It hasn't worked for me I must settle for being the only person in the world not in love with this book I have bailed at page 305 so even tho I spent two days reading this I have not given it a rating What made me bail? A Tho full of real history and real people the stories were not about people I have ever heard of nor care about I want to stress this here It is not a BAD book it is just not about people that interest this particular reader B The women characters when they ever bothered to make their brief appearances were all married women sleeping with the hero of the tale or grabbing his crotch under the dinner table And finally C Twas a bit choppy for my taste Allow me to define choppy By choppy I mean certain parts in Jean's life just suddenly come to an end and one brief line later another part of his life begins and I was checking to see if I had missed a page or paragraph somehow Also some details about his life were very left out He had a brother Daniel who went traveling with him but it is not until page 282 that yet another brother is mentioned Gabriel I would have liked to know of his family After all your immediate family the people you grow up with and that you love determines much about who you are as a person More information along these lines may have helped me get to know and understand Jean better Just suddenly mentioning your brother for the first time at a point in your journal when you are 45 years of age is just so sudden and off I don't know how else to explain it but there it is I think this is a novel for fans of James Bond


  4. says:

    I did read the e book from not a hard copy 17th century gem trade and all the elements involved I thought it was wonderful For me it was a rather an adventure biography in sort of the same way as was Marco Polo's journeys in reading them many years ago I believe it was Harold Lamb's accounts and I never really forgot them I think also Theodora of Byzantium Gentle non judgemental historically accurate although things could go over my head without my recognizing every little thing And the settings famous people of the time events and trends attitudes and a feeling for the daily life in various situations just flowed naturally The story followed Tavernier from his boyhood dreams through his actually growing successes as a collector and dealer in fine gems gradually gaining international recognition and becoming the most sought after reputable of gems dealer by the trade and the world's notables And it was a truly international and cosmopolitan picture of the age Included also were descriptions histories drawings and lithographs of the stones and the places and mines from where they came You're eye developed as to measuring uality and the all the factors involved in pricing and merchandising the top to the top in the gem business And the dangers Well written researched and never boring Gentle style never flamboyant although the characters were well presented A fine reading experience as well as a good learning experience


  5. says:

    The French Blue is being promoted as the back story of the Hope diamondbut this book is so much Through the telling of the life of Jean Baptiste Tavernier Richard Wise gives us a glimpse into life in the 17th century Sure Wise covers the nobility that you all ready know aboutbut he also brings to life the daily life of the peasant the retailer the stone cutter and the miners he meets along the wayIt is no surprise that the son of a cartographer would develop a wanderlust a need to explore the countries and far places his father charted The 17th Century was a time of discovery conuering new lands Kings Emperors Shahs and SheiksTavernier starts his life serving in the courts of the nobility of the day he is taken into their confidences and is trusted by those he meetsthis reputation serves him well in the course of his life These are the days when gem deals were done with a hand shake and Tavernier's proves himself He is a seeker of knowledge and most importantly an honest manThis book has it all adventure pirates travel to foreign lands incredible jewels from the earth and the collections of mogulsoh yeah did I mention it also has romance? Tavernier is not just a gem trader and traveler he is a man In his travels he romances several women and we meet the daughter of a Courtesan and a Sultan the woman who is destined to be the love of his life In the instant world that is today it is hard to imagine but in the 17th Century a single trip could take six to seven years From 1631 through 1668 Tavernier made six journey's to Persia and India culminating in the voyage and adventure that brought the great blue diamond to the court of Louis XIV The author Richard W Wise ventured through the Voyages of Tavernier three volumes with dates and details of the journeys but not much about the man The French Blue is his effort to fill in the gaps between the journeys he has with this book fleshed out Jean Baptiste the manI was first introduced to Richard W Wise when I picked up his book Secrets of the Gem Trade The Connoisseur's Guide to Precious Gemstones As a Gemology student I was looking for information specifics that would make me a smarter purchaser and aid me in my studies What I found was a book of intriguing stories of gem trading miners and exotic locales The art of the story teller is legend and doesn't come easily Wise has taken his success with Secrets of the Gem Trade one step further and in this adventure story his imagination was released to travel the road and sail the seas with Jean Baptiste Tavernier Well done


  6. says:

    I count myself lucky that I was invited to be part of the advance reader pool for this novel It’s a rich tapestry of a story that drew me in as I read and stayed with me long after I finished Before picking it up I had never heard of Jean Baptiste Tavernier and hadn’t given the royal jewel collections of the world and how they got to be so much thought Now I have been both educated and enrichedTavernier was the son of a Parisian mapmaker in the 1600’s and grew up with wanderlust As a young man he traveled throughout Europe served in the military and learned several languages He also found his calling as a dealer of fine gems Over his lifetime he made six voyages that each lasted several years traveling to Persia and throughout the Orient buying and selling gems and other fine merchandise He visited mines and pearl diving operations learning every aspect of the business of his trade He also met and befriended royalty in several different countries from the Shah of Persia the Great Mogul of India to Louis XIV of France This is a fictional account of real events painting a vivid picture of the 17th Century world and the foibles of its rich and powerful Though the hardships of daily life are not explored it does give insights into what life was like at the time especially showing the excesses of the aristocracy in contrast to those who served themMeticulously researched and lovingly told this is a novel of both history and adventure about a truly fascinating man I enjoyed it from start to finish and give it a high recommendation I’ll never be able to look at a huge gemstone without thinking about where it came from and its incredible history again


  7. says:

    Jean Baptiste Tavernier was a gem trader in the seventeenth century who completed six voyages through Persia and India and is perhaps most widely remembered for his discovery of The French Blue; an enormous blue diamond that was eventually recut into The Hope Diamond Tavernier's life and astounding adventurers form the basis of Richard W Wise's historical fiction work The French Blue An Illustrated Novel of the Seventeenth CenturyWise did a magnificent job in choosing the subject for his book as Tavernier proves to be a fascinating protagonist From the pearl divers of Persia to the diamond mines in India and the splendors of the court at Versailles the story is ripe with action and information and peppered with romance and politics The tale moves at a perfect pace and Wise's skill at research is eual to his mastery of prose as the fictional and factual characters are seamlessly blended together and sometimes nearly indistinguishable The inclusion of figures and illustrations also add a wonderful seasoning to an expertly constructed work The French Blue was a highly enjoyable novel Much like the gems described throughout the plot this is a book that is eye catching intriguing and overall a stunning treasure


  8. says:

    There are a few books that you feel you have to rush through to see what will happen next Then when you have finished you wish that it could have continued This is one of those books Jean Baptiste Tavernier was a traveler merchant and gem trader extraordinaire In the mid 1600's he left his native France to travel to Persia India and the Far East to search for the world's rarest gems During his six voyages that spanned over thirty six years he met and traded with kings princes shahs and potentates Among them Cardinal Richelieu ministers Mazarin and Colbert of France The Great Mogul of India Shah Jahan of India who built the Taj Mahal to honor his deceased wife also the Shah of Persia and of course Louis XIV the Sun King of France Jean sold to Louis XIV the rarest gem in the world The French Blue A blue diamond weighing over 112 carats uncut Over the years this gem would be cut twice eventually becoming what is now known as the Hope Diamond Add in adventure and excitement in foreign lands and a smattering of romance that spans two continents and you have a perfect summer read


  9. says:

    This book should have been titled something along the lines of The Life and Adventures of Jean Baptiste Tavernier as it was about him and only a little bit about the diamond known as the French Blue I had expected a story about the diamond itself which started out as the Great Blue but ultimately became the Hope Diamond So it was disappointing that it took 500 some pages to even get to Jean Baptiste acuiring the diamond And the book ends with the sale of the diamond to King Louis IV of France I wanted the rest of the story from this point to the stone's display case at the Smithsonian in Washington DC Richard Wise writes well about gems and the gem trade and it was interesting to learn of Jean Baptiste's life especially since he traveled so widely in an era when so few people ever went than a few miles from their homes But the title is so misleading that the book feels like a cheat you come to it wanting to read about a famous gem and instead end up reading a biography of one man


  10. says:

    This is a historical fiction novel about a gem merchant during the 17th century who made several journeys to the east and discovered the diamond that would become the hope diamond The stories are really interesting and based on several books published by Tavernier myself It is a uniue glimpse at the life of a European merchant during the 1600s Its an enjoyable read and one that reads very uickly However I thought the writing could have been better and there were several typos including as one reviewer has already mentioned there was an entire sentence missing between pages 133 134


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The French Blue Between the years 1630 1668 the French gem merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier made six voyages to Persia and India His true exploits by land and sea go far beyond the ink and paper exploits of fictional adventurers Tavernier met and did business with some of the world's most powerful princes and romanced some of the most beautiful women

  • Hardcover
  • 584 pages
  • The French Blue
  • Richard W. Wise
  • English
  • 14 August 2015
  • 9780972822367

About the Author: Richard W. Wise

wwwrichardwbookscomHis previous books include Secrets Of The Gem Trade The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones First published in 2003 the book became a critically acclaimed best seller The revised and expanded second edition was published in November 2016