The Ultimate Christmas Cracker
For 50 Christmases, the historian John Julius Norwich compiled scrapbooks of amusing clippings for family and friends. This selection features Groucho Marx, Shirley Temple, Margaret Thatcher and a warning to Women’s Institute members not to bring firearms into the BBC.
Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe
As the Ottoman Empire reached its apogee and feudal Europe developed into national states, four dynamic rulers each shaped their domains – the English and French kings, the Holy Roman Emperor and the Sultan. With his characteristically colourful approach, Norwich discusses the achievements of these men and weaves their stories together to reveal how their relationships changed the continent. ‘Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, the four of them held Europe in the hollow of their hands.’
A History: From Gaul to de Gaulle
With characteristic urbanity and wit, lifelong Francophile John Julius Norwich recounts two millennia of French history, from Vercingetorix’s last stand against Caesar, via the folies de grandeur of Louis XIV and Napoleon, to the end of the Second World War. He explores the contradictions of a nation torn between autocracy and egalitarianism with insight and sympathy, while enlivening the narrative with personal anecdotes.