We Chose to Speak of War and Strife
The World of the Foreign Correspondent
Foreign correspondents risk their own safety to report from the most dangerous places in the world, and are often witnesses to pivotal moments in history. In this celebration of the profession, John Simpson recalls his experiences in Kosovo, Kabul and Baghdad and tells the stories of past and present journalists including Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway, Don McCullin and Marie Colvin, offering an insight into the origin, development and practice of his challenging occupation.
Memories of a Bygone Age
Qajar Persia and Imperial Russia 1853–1902
The son of a provincial merchant, Prince Arfa rose to the heights of Iranian politics. His memoir, written shortly before his death in 1936, records the decline of the Persian Empire, and his time as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Russian court of Nicholas II.
The Wager Disaster
Mayhem, Mutiny and Murder in the South Seas
In 1741, with Britain at war with Spain, HMS Wager was wrecked on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile. Drawing on survivors’ accounts, this book tells the story of the men who mutinied and sailed 2,500 miles in an open boat to safety in Brazil.
The Architectural, Landscape and Constitutional Plans of the Earl of Mar, 1700-32
One of Scotland’s foremost citizens of the early 18th century, John Erskine (1675–1732), Earl of Mar was active in politics and in architecture, landscape and infrastructure planning. He made important contributions to building in Scotland, particularly in his native Alloa and, in exile in France after his support for the 1715 Rising, he continued designing and planning. This aspect of Mar’s life, rather than his controversial politics, is the focus of Margaret Stewart’s richly illustrated study.
100 Criminal Lives
The practice of transporting criminals to Australia was abandoned in 1868 and replaced by the convict system: serious offenders were sentenced to ‘penal servitude’ in UK prisons and later released on license. Using information in licensees’ records, this volume presents brief biographies of 100 criminals, arranged in an A–Z, from Samuel Ainge (b.1820) who, after a seemingly blameless life was arrested for embezzlement in 1883, to Mary Wright (b.1853), who drowned her young daughter in 1880.
Life Below Stairs in Their Own Words 1800–1950
Focusing on the stories of ordinary men and women who worked as servants in the homes of the middle classes, this book gives a ‘warts and all’ history of domestic service. In each of four periods, Michelle Higgs first surveys the work, conditions and social issues of the day before introducing the servants and their testimony, from Mary Ann Ashford, general servant, housemaid and cook in 1800, to Amy Jones, a 14-year-old general servant and nursemaid in 1945.
In Bed with the Georgians
Sex, Scandal and Satire in the 18th Century
The sex trade flourished openly and profitably in Georgian England, particularly in the area around London’s Covent Garden. This illustrated history considers how the ‘oldest profession’ permeated all classes – from the courtesans who plied their trade within the very highest echelons of society right down to the common prostitutes who walked the streets – and examines how the scene was vividly portrayed by the letter writers, journalists, satirists and caricaturists of the time.
Murder, Mayhem and the Master of Disguise
One of Sheffield’s most infamous sons, Charlie Peace responded to the steel mill accident that crippled him and the loss of a father that impoverished the family by turning to crime – and proving himself a genius at burglary, murder and disguise. Ben Johnson narrates Peace’s career of crime, from petty theft to murder and, eventually, to Armley Gaol and the hangman’s rope.
The King and the Catholics
The Fight for Rights: 1829
In 1780, the anti-Papist Gordon riots left 1,000 dead and London in flames; half a century later, Parliament passed the Catholic Emancipation Act. This narrative history charts the struggles that brought about that conclusion. It profiles the key players, including George III, a staunch opponent of emancipation; the political rivals Wellington and Peel; and the Irish campaigner Daniel O’Connell; and examines the conflict between the right to practise one’s religion and allegiance to the state.
The South Sea Bubble and Ireland
Money, Banking and Investment, 1960-1721
When the South Sea bubble burst in September 1720, its repercussions were felt far beyond the City of London. This study examines the South Sea investments and the consequences of their rise and fall in the peripheral financial centres of Ireland.
British Privateering Voyages of the Early Eighteenth Century
Tim Beattie tells the stories of three privateering expeditions that made a significant impact on politics, trade and literature: the voyages of William Dampier in 1703, Woodes Rogers in 1708–11, and John Clipperton and George Shelvocke’s voyages in Speedwell between 1719 and 1722.
Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum
Lady Flora Hastings’s belly, Charles Darwin’s beard, George Eliot’s hand, Fanny Cornforth’s mouth and Sweet Fanny Adams: though close studies of these five famous or controversial body parts Hughes aims to understand ‘what it meant to be a human animal in the 19th century’.
The Scandalous Life of Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey 1753–1821
One of the great beauties of Georgian society, Frances Villiers was clever, witty, charming – and vilified for her affairs, including one with the Prince Regent that enraged the country and threatened the monarchy. Through the letters of those who knew her, this first-ever biography pieces together the truth about her scandalous adventures, and dispels many of the myths that have surrounded her, to produce an intimate portrait of a life lived in defiance of convention.