Retreat to Victory
Julian Thompson, himself a commander in the Falklands War, recreates the experiences of the ill-equipped, under-trained soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force in May 1940, when they endured weeks of a desperate fighting withdrawal inland and were then trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk, awaiting evacuation.
The Grand Turk
Sultan Mehmet II – Conqueror of Constantinople, Master of an Empire and Lord of Two Seas
Aged just 21 when he conquered Constantinople in 1453, Mehmet II was known to Europe as a brutal tyrant, whose advancing Ottoman empire, reaching across Asia Minor to Hungary and Italy, led three Popes to call for Crusades. He was 'the present Terrour of the World', but as John Freely’s biography reveals, Mehmet’s court was filled with poets, astronomers, scholars and artists, and his military conquests brought Greco-Islamic science to the West at the dawn of the Renaissance. Slightly off-mint.
A Land Between Tradition and Modernity
Based on the journals that the author kept during his exploration of Anatolia, Istanbul and the Aegean coast, this travelogue blends Reichart’s own experiences with an overview of Turkey’s history, and reveals his profound fascination with its character and culture.
An Armchair Traveller's History of Finland
This guide to Finland’s people, history and landscape from prehistory to the present day explores its culture and its main historical figures, including Christian martyrs and Viking kings. The account offers advice on travel logistics, lists holidays and festivals and provides an overview of food and drink; and a gazetteer describes prominent cultural and natural landmarks.
The Lengthening War
The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode
Having lived in Germany for a time before the outbreak of the First World War, middle-aged, middle-class diarist Mabel Goode knew 'the enemy nation' as many Britons did not, which adds an extra dimension to her contemporary account of the years 1914–1916. She records enrolment, rationing, the collapse of domestic service and the growth of war work, the Zeppelin attacks over Yorkshire, the ever-mounting casualty lists and a growing disillusionment with a lengthening conflict.
Childhood and Death in Victorian England
Sarah Seaton surveys the hazards of childhood in an age when childbirth was fraught with danger, child labour was exploited, there was no adequate protection against disease, and little, if any social support for the poor. As well as these daunting obstacles to health and happiness, the book describes cases of child murder, infanticide and concealment of birth, and explains the often desperate circumstances in which such crimes were committed.
From Common Soldier to Emperor of Rome
A soldier of enormous height, Maximinus ‘the Thracian’ was enlisted into the Roman imperial bodyguard before himself becoming Emperor in a coup. Pearson charts this lesser-known ruler’s rise, his response to Rome’s 3rd-century ‘crisis’ and his campaigns against Persia and into barbarian Germania.