“Thanks to Brook’s roving and insatiably curious gaze, Vermeer’s small scenes widen onto the broad panorama of world history... The result is like one of Vermeer’s trademark reflective pearls that magically reveals a world beyond itself. A more entertaining guide to world history -- and to Vermeer--is difficult to imagine”
“Vermeer’s Hat is a deftly eclectic book . . . full of surprising pleasures.”
"Canadian Timothy Brook is one of those historians who can tell world history like an adventure novel and economic history like a crime novel...After reading [Vermeer's Hat] one sees Vermeer's world differently. And one's own, too."
"[Brook] takes readers on a series of brilliantly circuitous mystery tours that reveal the savagery on which western civilisation was built...Vermeer's Hat is mind-expanding."
“Vermeer's Hat is a jewel of a study of two distinct yet intertwined worlds, feeling their way together towards modernity.”
"It's a fascinating approach to cultural history, providing new ways of thinking about origins of commonplace objects."
Winner of the Mark Lynton Prize in History
Bloomsbury US 2008
The 17th Century and the Dawn of the Global World
“Vermeer's Hat ... provides not only valuable historical insight but also enthralling intellectual entertainment. ”