Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything

Publisher: Viking

Coleridge's Kubla Khan; A Vision was my sole knowledge of the Great Khan; now I know he was the grandson of Genghis, ruler in the thirteenth century of an immense empire stretching across Asia and Russia and into Europe.

He supported religious tolerance and promoted the foremost artists and scientists in his realm, even introducing a form of universal education. Beijing, his capital city, was envisioned on an unimaginably grand scale, including a world-famous observatory. This mighty empire waned after he died, but legends of its magnificence fueled exploration and trade for centuries.

This history of Kubla Khan is in itself fascinating: the illustrations then take this book to another level. Brimming with detail and pattern, they are dazzling, bejeweled windows into a little-known historical period.

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