The Fire Mountain

The Fire Mountain

ISBN13: 9780747556763

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On Thursday, 8th May 1902, the citizens of Saint-Pierre, Martinique, huddled together in their spectacular cathedral of Notre Dame. For only God could save them from the disaster about to befall their city. Earlier that morning, the sky had turned black with volcanic dust and a slow, steady rain of ash had begun to fall on the city. Mont Pelee, the island volcano that had remained dormant for so long, had suddenly come alive. The rumblings of the volcano soon turned into a savage roar, and within minutes the beautiful city (hailed as the Paris of the Caribbean) had been destroyed along with its 30,000 inhabitants. The only apparent survivor of the disaster was Ludger Sylbaris, a twenty-seven-year-old labourer who had spent the previous night in solitary confinement in Saint-Pierre jail. The eruption was the most sensational event of its time. Sylbaris was taken on by P.T. Barnum's famous circus and became a minor celebrity as he toured America recounting the horrors of the explosion. "Fire Mountain" is the thrilling story of that fateful day, the complex political events that played a part in the tragedy and a fascinating history of the island itself.

Type Book
Number Of Pages 256
Item Height 30 mm
Item Width 140 mm
Item Weight 453 Gram
Product Dimensions 140 x 30 x 216
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format Hardcover | 256
Book Overview Combining human disaster, dramatic history, travel-writing and brilliant analysis - this is a breathtaking work of narrative non-fiction Published to coincide with the centenary of the Mont Pelee eruption - review and feature coverage guaranteed Reading on BBC Radio 4

On the morning of 8 May 1902 the 30,000 residents of Saint Pierre on the Caribbean island of Martinique sheltered in the city's cathedral after Mont Pel e, the island's dormant volcano, came alive. But within minutes a tremendous eruption from the volcano utterly destroyed Saint Pierre and all its inhabitants - save for one solitary man, Ludger Sylbaris, a labourer who had spent the previous night in jail and who after the disaster toured America with Barnum's circus. Morgan provides a vivid recreation of that dreadful day combined with an equally evocative picture of 19th century life in the colony aided by contemporary photographs and illustrations. A thrilling narrative bound to win many readers on the word-of-mouth grapevine. And Morgan will present a TV programme on the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

Peter Morgan is a reporter for ITN's Channel Four News. He has written several plays for radio and theatre. His first radio play won the Society of Authors new writing award for 2000.