Great Wonders of the World
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Beginning with the seven wonders of the ancient world, this book ends up leaping about in all directions in a desperate attempt to fill its pages. Intended for anyone over twelve years old, it offers three double page spreads on each of the wonders: an introduction to it, how it was built, and a range of related buildings from across world history and cultures. There is information that may be difficult to find in such detail elsewhere, about, for instance, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or the Statue of Zeus at Olympia. Bonson's illustrations effectively convey the grandiose pretension and awesome technical and artistic achievement of their builders. Some of these wonders have little archaeological evidence remaining; others, like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, may not have existed at all, and the text for these is necessarily thin and speculative. But at least there is some shape and organisation. This unravels over the last few pages into a ragbag of wonders ranging from cloning to the seven colours of a rainbow.