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Hope Diamond : The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem
by Richard Kurin | Nonfiction
Registered by legbamel of not specified on Monday, April 24, 2006
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by debnance): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

6 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by legbamel from not specified, not specified not specified on Monday, April 24, 2006

7 out of 10

This is an Advance Reader Copy from Haper Collins. Following is the review I submitted:

"I am guessing that the intent of garnering reviews is not to point out minor spelling errors or awkward grammar, as the cover of the book clearly states that it is an uncorrected proof, so I won’t bother with that. I did want to point out that the second whole paragraph on page 289 has a couple of glaring problems toward the end, however.

The book had an air of breathless school-boy enthusiasm about the subject, helped along by the rather liberal sprinkling of exclamation points, especially at the beginning. It is easy to see that Mr. Kurin was captivated by his subject and he does a good job of showing that interest throughout the book. At times his writing reminds one strongly of an eagerly-written term paper and in other portions it has a breezy and gossipy style that is enjoyable to read. There are short histories on portions of both French and British royalty and plenty of personal details about the various owners and holders of the Hope Diamond - both before and after it acquired that name. These make for a more rounded view of the stone’s history and interesting glimpses into various historical periods. There are some interesting scientific explorations and explanations toward the end of the book as well. While the book cannot be conclusive about the history of the stone, Mr. Kurin presents strong arguments for the projected course of its “life” and succeeds in utterly debunking the myth of the curse associated with it. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to look at an energetic treatment of a subject which has clearly been widely misunderstood!"

Now, I didn't realize at the time I wrote it that they were looking for something 20 words or less to post on their site, so this may be a bit wordy! Maybe they'll just use the last sentence. ;) I also didn't mention that some of the endnotes contain little expository blurbs which are often as interesting as the portions included in the book. This one is counting for the "5 to the 5th" Challenge, and I've started a bookray as a few people have expressed interest. If you are in the US and would like to join, please PM me.

The order for the book ray so far is as follows:
TheBowieFollies (NY)
macewoman (NC)
katintheboots (CA)
cougmax (WA) (asked to be skipped)
debnance
gemnance <----- Here
????? 


Journal Entry 2 by legbamel at on Monday, May 22, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (5/19/2006 UTC) at

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RELEASE NOTES:

Off in the mail to TheBowieFollies for the first leg of its journey. 


Journal Entry 3 by TheBowieFollies from not specified, not specified not specified on Friday, May 26, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I was enthralled to see this in the post!! legbamel you are a diamond droogie yourself for letting me have a look-see and Im the first what an honour! I have always been intrigued by the legend of this cursed gem, I visited the Smithsonian a few years ago and it is the most beautiful stone I have ever set my eyes on!
Will be back soon to deconstruct...
happy crossbooking 


Journal Entry 4 by TheBowieFollies from not specified, not specified not specified on Friday, May 26, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I was enthralled to see this in the post!! legbamel you are a diamond droogie yourself for letting me have a look-see and Im the first what an honour! I have always been intrigued by the legend of this cursed gem, I visited the Smithsonian a few years ago and it is the most beautiful stone I have ever set my eyes on!
Will be back soon to deconstruct...
happy crossbooking 


Journal Entry 5 by TheBowieFollies from not specified, not specified not specified on Thursday, June 01, 2006

10 out of 10

Oh I was completely besotted with this read! Kudos to Herr Kurin for his definitive take on the legend and all the portents associated with this stunning stone. The chronology is riveting, I could not stay away from this one! It was fascinating to be apprised of the transistion of this gem, how many hands it passed. SPOILER ALERT : Rod Sterling's fate after airing a reportage on this, dying 6 months later was really chilling! Marie Antoinette too!!!
I just hope the hope wont get me!!!
I actually did visit this a few moons ago at the Smithsonian, my luck is not too brilliant actually lol. this book is a keeper leggy bamel!!!! Cheers again ducky for letting me be privy
it is on its way to North Carolina to a the mace lady :)
happy cross booking 


Journal Entry 6 by macewoman from not specified, not specified not specified on Wednesday, June 07, 2006

This book has not been rated.

It appears that the post is not only the safest way to transport gems, but it does a good job with books as well. Wouldn't Winston be thrilled?
As you can see I received this little gem and couldn't resist starting it right away. Now I really must finish the book I had already started, but this won't languish long on the shelf.
Thanks to the jewel in NY for sending it on so fast and to legbamel (no diamond in the rough), who allowed me the chance to read this interesting history. 


Journal Entry 7 by macewoman from not specified, not specified not specified on Monday, June 19, 2006

8 out of 10

I was starting to feel a little cursed myself while reading this book, since every time I tried to pick it up life would interfere. But alas, I and the book have prevailed and the reading is complete.
Kurin not only captures every bit of history surrounding the Hope diamond, but the mining, trading, and cutting associated with diamonds in general. I found myself, more than once, trapping anyone around me and making them listen as I read a passage or two. I had to laugh when Kurin talks about the conversations overheard at the Smithsonian when folks go into to see the Hope. Because when I finally saw it I remember that I thought, "Gee, it's a lot of hoopla for something so small".
SPOILER ALERT: Since I don't know a lot of French history, the sections devoted to the French Revolution and the theft from the Royal warehouse made for fascinating reading.

My birthstone is the sapphire and I do have a birthday coming up, so if anyone is wondering what to get me, I'm sure this sapphire will work out just fine. ;P

I already have katintheboots' address, so tomorrow off to the land of sunshine it goes. I feel sure this book will shine as much there as the diamond does in DC. Thanks legbamel for giving me the chance to read this interesting book.

Mailed 6/21/06
DC#0306 0320 0004 8498 9046 


Journal Entry 8 by katintheboots from not specified, not specified not specified on Monday, June 26, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I found this in my mail box this evening, which is perfect timing as I just finished a book earlier this afternoon. I wanted to read this for First Look but didn't get selected, so I'm extra happy to have received this on a ray. The book seems to have acquired Washington apple and D'Anjou pear stickers, which I removed...I hope no one minds. Will start reading this evening! 


Journal Entry 9 by katintheboots from not specified, not specified not specified on Saturday, July 01, 2006

8 out of 10

As something of a history nut, I totally enjoyed the author's in depth treatment of the probable history of the Hope Diamond. The scholarship was clearly well-researched, and very effective at debunking the curse of the diamond. Obviously, being a large and valuable object that's been part of civilization for several hundred years, some of it's owners (most notedly Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette) have experienced definite misfortune. But I think that any object that's been around for almost 400 years is going to have a little misfortune associated with it.

I didn't expect to finish this as fast as I did...I still had half the book to go when I sat down with it this evening, but several hours later, here I am. I'll PM cougmax for an address tonight and get it in the mail once the holiday is over. 


Journal Entry 10 by katintheboots from not specified, not specified not specified on Monday, July 10, 2006

This book has not been rated.

When I asked cougmax for an address, I received a response that the book had already been obtained elsewhere. But debnance and gemnance fortuitously requested to join the ray at about the same time, and so I shipped the book off to them this evening via media mail. 


Journal Entry 11 by gemman from not specified, not specified not specified on Thursday, July 20, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I am a gemcutter. The Hope Diamond is one of my favorite gemstones. I'm looking forward to reading this book. 


Journal Entry 12 by debnance from not specified, not specified not specified on Thursday, July 20, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I thought I'd go ahead and sign in on this book, too, since gemman and I are going to be reading it together. My mom is intrigued with the Hope Diamond and asked my husband to cut her a replica some years back. It was very strange, but he had terrible difficulties cutting the stone for her. When he finally gave it to her a few Christmases ago, he dubbed it "The Hopeless Diamond" because of all the problems it caused for him.

I'll start this as soon as I wrap up the book I'm reading. Thanks for sharing, legbamel. 


Journal Entry 13 by debnance at on Saturday, April 21, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (5/14/2007 UTC) at

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IRA 




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