Catherine the Great
Portrait of a Woman
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Peter the Great, Robert Massie returns with a biography of Russia's greatest and most controversial empress, Catherine the Great (1729–1796). Massie describes how an obscure German princess travelled to Russia at the age of 14, and overcame the machinations of the feudal aristocracy, her scheming mother and her bullying husband to become the most powerful woman in the world.
The Dignity of Chartism:
Essays by Dorothy Thompson
Starting with an introduction to the work of Dorothy Thompson (1923–2011) by Stephen Roberts, this book collects 16 essays, including a previously unpublished study of Halifax Chartism, spanning the whole career of ‘the pre-eminent historian of Chartism’. With introductory notes and additional footnotes.
Paris, London and New York in the Age of Revolution
This history compares events in Paris, New York and London from 1765 to 1795, when the first two were convulsed by revolution, and the third came close. Drawing on archives, letters and travelogues, the book evokes a world in which aristocrats, lawyers, artisans and society hostesses passionately debated the issues of liberty, justice and the social order, and assesses how those momentous years have shaped the political and physical fabric of all three cities to this day.
Three Extraordinary Women: Ida Nettleship, Sophie Brzeska and Fernande Olivier
This book explores the lives and achievements of three unconventional, creative women, and the sacrifices they made for the egotistical artists they loved. Fernande Olivier (1881–1966) was Picasso’s first love and muse; Sophie Brzeska (1873–1925) lived with the sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 19 years her junior, until he was killed in the First World War; and Ida Nettleship (1877–1907) bore five children to Augustus John while living in a ménage à trois with him and his mistress.
The Epic of Isandlwana and the Cover-Up
This history of the Battle of Isandlwana (1879), which saw British expeditionary troops defeated by Zulu warriors, eschews colonial romanticism and recognizes Isandlwana as a ‘magnificent Zulu victory against an invading army with superior arms.’ Referencing numerous sources, including maps, photographs and the letters of Commander-in-Chief Lord Chelmsford, the book explores Chelmsford’s misguided preparations for the conquest of Zululand, the Zulus’ superiority in the field, and the attempt to cover up Chelmsford’s culpability.
Into the Kazakh Steppe
John Castle's Mission to Khan Abulkhayir (1736)
John Castle, an artist and adventurer of mixed English and Prussian descent, was commissioned by the Russian Empire to join an expedition to secure the region north of what is now Kazakhstan. His diary, translated here for the first time, recounts his perilous journey and contains descriptions of the peoples, places and customs he encountered. Castle’s own drawings depict the Khan, his yurt, and life on the steppe.
Black's Guide to Scotland
Picturesque Tourist Guide 1840
Published in 1840 by Adam and Charles Black of Edinburgh, this ‘Picturesque Tourist’ guide promises ‘engraved charts and views of the scenery, plans of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and a copious itinerary’. Arranged as 14 tours, the guide also assures the reader of accurate, plain and intelligible accounts, with much information on tradition, history and associations – a swipe at the purple prose of rival guides. The present book is a facsimile reprint of the first edition. No jacket.
Outlaws of the Atlantic
Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail
Rather than the masters and commanders, Marcus Rediker's history takes a bottom-up approach, looking at the maritime history of the Atlantic from the viewpoint of sailors, slaves, indentured servants, pirates, smugglers and rebels. In the 'age of wooden ships and iron men' he shows how Jack Tar, as sailors were commonly known, influenced the wider histories of political thought, literature and commerce, and how revolutionary ideas were generated among the motley (or multi-ethnic) crews of the Atlantic.
History is two things: event and report, which are not necessarily the same. In this provocative book, historian Simon Schama uses the techniques of fiction to explore the eccentric 19th-century Parkman family of Boston – and to interrogate the practice of his own profession.
The World of a Seductive Genius
‘Love is three quarters curiosity,’ said Giacomo Casanova, whose name has become a byword for seduction. Though he was born in poverty in Venice, his intelligence, ambition and charm gained him entry to the courts of England, Russia and France – and to the beds of countless beautiful, aristocratic women. This biography exposes his life in rich, intimate detail, and paints a dazzling portrait of 18th-century Europe from serving girls to kings and courtiers.
Gangs, Vice and Packet Rats: 19th-Century Crime and Punishment
The crowds of immigrants, merchants, sailors, slave traders and soldiers passing through the colonial port of 19th-century Liverpool provided an ideal cover for gang-led criminality and drink-fuelled depravity. This entertaining survey of Liverpool’s Victorian underworld presents a litany of crime stories, including murder, robbery, prostitution and bodysnatching, many of which involved sailor gangs like the notorious Packet Rats. The presence of Irish Catholic immigrants in the city, as Archibald points out, also raised tensions.
An Infamous Mistress
The Life, Loves and Family of the Celebrated Grace Dalrymple Elliott
Divorced wife, scandalous mistress, prisoner during the French Revolution and reputed mother of the Prince of Wales’s child, Grace Dalrymple Elliott had little choice but to live off her wits and her beauty. This biography not only charts her adventures in London and Paris, buts sets her swashbuckling life against the social history of the Georgian era, and explores her far-flung family connections that extended to France, America, India and Africa.
Crime in 19th Century Scotland
This true crime book investigates some of the lesser-known murders, robberies and misdemeanours committed in 19th-century Scotland; and while it pursues a thematic approach to crime, including poisoning, rural murders and drink-related offences, it also reserves stand-alone chapters for the Dundee Museum Robbery and the Siege of John Street. Archibald is keen to contrast the romantic ‘glens and bens’ notion of Scotland with the reality of a cruel and desperate criminal underworld.
Secret Histories of Britain's Rebels and Revolutionaries
Alarmed by the French Revolution, the rulers of Georgian Britain established a network of spies and informers to infiltrate and monitor radical groups at home. Drawing on official records and contemporary accounts, this compelling history probes the shadowy world of government agents pitted against Irish rebels, Luddites, the Pentrick uprising of 1817 and the 1820 plot to murder the cabinet. In vivid prose, the book recreates a climate of fear and repression, in which even peaceful reformers risked arrest.
Life in the Victorian Kitchen
Culinary Secrets and Servants' Stories
Life in a 19th-century kitchen could be tough and exacting, and staff below stairs needed a broader range of skills than ever before, as new and exotic ingredients were arriving from around the Empire. Using case studies and detailed research, Karen Foy examines Victorian cuisine through the seasons (with some recipes), and discusses useful tools and the sourcing of ingredients as well as introducing early cookery writers, including Catherine Dickens.
The Daughters of George III
Despite their unprepossessing parents, the six daughters of George III and Queen Charlotte were remarkably good-looking; commissioned to paint portraits of the children, Gainsborough was enraptured with the girls’ beauty. His paintings are among the illustrations in this first complete account of all six daughters: Charlotte, Princess Royal, later Queen of Württemberg (1766–1828); Augusta Sophia (1768–1840); Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg (1770–1840); May, Duchess of Gloucester (1776–1857); Sophia (1777–1848) and Amelia (1783–1810). Off-mint.
The News from Waterloo
The Race to Tell Britain of Wellington's Victory
It took three days for the outcome of the battle of Waterloo to reach London. Described by Sir Tony Robinson as 'a fascinating eye-opener', this book draws on untapped records to reveal the story of how the momentous news was brought from the battlefield via feverish horseback journeys, a Channel crossing delayed by falling tides and a flat calm, and the final dash by coach-and-four from the Kent coast to a grand soirée in St James's Square.
The Fortune Hunter
A German Prince in Regency England
Happily married, but insolvent, Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1785–1871) and his wife Lucie devised a plan to save their beloved estate: they would divorce and Pückler would go to England to marry an heiress. Based on the prince’s letters reporting his progress to Lucie, this book is a blow-by-blow account of Pückler’s courtships, but also a portrait of Regency England through the eyes of an intelligent, observant and, at one point, lovesick fortune hunter.
The Camisard Uprising
War and Religion in the Cévennes
A century of religious tolerance in France came to an end with the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. French Protestants, or Huguenots, were relentlessly persecuted, and many fled to England. In the remote Cévennes, however, villagers clung to their faith. This groundbreaking history charts the little-known conflict of 1702–4, when shepherds and farmers went into combat singing psalms, holding the armed might of the French state at bay for two years before their eventual defeat.
Wellington's Dearest Georgy
The Life and Loves of Lady Georgiana Lennox
Georgiana Lennox met the Duke of Wellington at a ball organized by her mother on the eve of Waterloo. Using a wealth of unpublished material, this beautifully illustrated book charts an intimate friendship that lasted a lifetime.
St George and the Chinese Dragon
Written by Colonel Vaughan of the 7th Rajputs, this is a colourful account of the expedition to relieve the International Legations – 900 soldiers, marines and citizens of eleven foreign powers, including Britain – besieged in Peking for 55 days during the Boxer Uprising. The book covers Vaughan’s perilous march from the coast to Peking, the capture of the Legations Quarter and the subsequent occupation of Peking. An extensive foreword is complemented by maps, photographs and watercolours by the author.
The Last Waltz
The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna
An empire was dying, but the band played on, reeling out one intoxicating waltz after another: Voices of Spring, Tales from the Vienna Woods, The Blue Danube… This absorbing narrative tells the story of the two Waltz Kings, Johann Strauss father and son, whose melodies beguiled Europe even as the family was riven with tension, jealousy and feuds, mirroring the dysfunction of the Austrian Empire as it danced and drank its way to catastrophe.