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Ghost Empire - Richard Fidler

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In 2014, Richard Fidler and his son Joe made a journey to Istanbul. Fired by Richard's passion for the rich history of the dazzling Byzantine Empire - centred around the legendary Constantinople - we are swept into some of the most extraordinary tales in history. The clash of civilizations, the fall of empires, the rise of Christianity, revenge, lust, murder. Turbulent stories from the past are brought vividly to life at the same time as a father navigates the unfolding changes in his relationship with his son.

Ghost Empire is a revelation: a beautifully written ode to a lost civilization, and a warmly observed father-son adventure far from home.

About the Author

Richard Fidler presents Conversations With Richard Fidler, an in-depth, up close and personal interview program broadcast across Australia on ABC Radio. He's interviewed prime ministers, astronauts, writers and scientists, but the program often features remarkable people who are unknown to the wider world. The program is the most popular podcast in Australia, with over a million downloaded programs every month. In another life Richard was a member of Australian comedy trio The Doug Anthony Allstars (DAAS), which played to audiences all over the world.

This is his first book.




Loved this book. Well researched with some fascinating observations and insights, and for me, a fresh viewpoint on the Roman outpost. As a travel read, a must if you are thinking of visiting Turkey; Istanbul especially. But there is also a father-son journey at its heart which is why I've bought a copy for my son to enjoy with His son.

Narrabeen, Sydney


Excellent book


I'm only part of the way through this book and I'm finding it a fascinating read and I'm learning so much. I highly recommend it. I quite often find myself on google maps checking locations and learning a bit more. The only downside for me (and this is to do with the era as opposed to the writing) is that there were so many players/characters in that time, that it gets a little confusing remembering who is who.

Adelaide, SA


Informative but light and easy


Nice father and son real experiences and lovely expose of a little known facet of our history.



Thoroughly enjoyable and informative.


A wonderful and informative book. Richard Fidler clearly enjoys his subject.



Excellent read


I would not normally choose a book like this for myself however a friend recommended it to me. I absolutely loved reading it and was thoroughly captivated by the stories in it re-told so beautifully and engagingly by Richard Fidler. At times it might not appear as the easiest book to read and requires a certain level of concentration but well worth the effort! I was sorry when I reached the final chapter as would gladly have kept reading - would most definitely read other books by this author and would love to have him as my travel guide.

Port Macquarie, NSW


Fun History


I have just finished "Ghost Empire" by Richard Fidler and what a delightful read it was! Basically it's a popular, easy to read, history of Constantinople. The narrative is mixed in with a personal account of the modern version of this city that the author and his son, Joe, experienced and observed during the trip from Rome to Istanbul in 2014. I have read both John Julius Norwich's masterly and detailed trilogy on Byzantium and the various volumes of the "History of the Wars" by the Byzantine historian Procopius, both excellent accounts in their different ways. However if you want just one good book to read on this subject then I reckon you can't go past "Ghost Empire". I am sure once you finish the book you will want to rush out and find more titles on the subject. The story is full of accounts of battles and skirmishes with the various enemies the empire faced until its fall in 1453 to Sultan Mehmed II, ruler of the Ottoman Turks. There are also accounts of palace intrigues, Constantinople's relationship with old Rome and the West and the role of religion in the city and empire. We hear of great Byzantium generals like Belisarius and palace eunuchs like Narses who also led armies in Italy against the enemies of the empire. We read tales of great empresses like Theodora and Irene of Athens amongst others. The book never gets boring or stale, I found myself riveted to the page, flicking through the 453 pages of narrative (492 pages in total) in a matter of days. Like I said earlier, this is a easy to read book full of great history on Constantinople and commentary on the modern city of Istanbul. If you have been to the city it will bring back fond memories of your visit and if you haven't been to the city I am sure that after reading this account you will be going sometime soon.

Canberra, Australia


Good Book


A somewhat chatty book, possibly in order to appeal to a broad readership. Occasionally with interesting details, such as the origin of chess. Always easy to read and engaging, filled with details of daily life through the ages.

Bathurst, NSW, Australia


This product will keep the pages turning


My husband snaffled this from our son's Christmas presents. He found he could not put it down; it was just as big a page turner as any mystery or crime novel. He hasn't been so interested in a book in ages. Don't forget, although it is un-put-downable, it is history

South Australia


Empire Alive!


The Empire is alive ,and you can spend some facinating hours in its spell! Well written, elegantly crafted, this is a book for all seasons. A credit to its Author and one for your library.



Well written, interesting and informative


Richard Fidler has done extensive research to produce a book that is both historically informative and easy to read.

Byron Bay


Ghost Empire

4.8 12


ISBN: 9780733335259
ISBN-10: 073333525X
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 512
Published: 25th July 2016
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 16.0  x 4.5
Weight (kg): 0.72