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History: Stories About Famous Precious Stones
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History: Stories About Famous Precious Stones


 ‘Everything which was found there was either melted down or sold by order of the Commonwealth. Amongst other things thus treated was the gold filigree crown of Edward the Confessor, which was broken up and sold for its weight of bullion. Such vandalism is almost enough to make one a Jacobite . . .’ (Adela Elizabeth Orpen)

Here are entertaining true stories surrounding a selection of the world’s most famous precious stones. Written in witty, charmingly opinionated style by Mrs. Goddard Orpen (1855-1927), these accounts could be read to pique a student’s curiosity about historic events and people, or, to explore interesting – and memorable – information that may not have made its way into the general history books.

Precious gems and masterfully crafted jewellery have repeatedly found themselves in the hands of wealthy and powerful people, oftentimes well-known kings and queens. Each of the jewels described here has accumulated its own collection of bizarre tales of greed, treachery and power. Guided by a confident and well-informed author, the reader will contemplate how small objects of great monetary value have influenced the characters – and sometimes the course – of history.

Read about as many jewels as you want to (12 different items are discussed). Make notes on an ‘Analysis Sheet’ that features a simple colour image of one of the jewels at the centre of the page; the student may jot down important facts or events about that jewel in the surrounding empty space in a ‘cloud’ of facts. Or, take your own notes in a traditional style on loose leaf. Once you have read about at least three precious stones you may also choose to write an essay – a list of possible topics is included, most of which require you to defend an opinion based on what you have learned and noted previously. 

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1.4 MB
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File Last Updated:
November 12, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on November 12, 2017.