Lady Jane Grey
Nine Days Queen
As the great-niece of Henry VIII, Jane Grey was a pawn in the power game of Tudor politics. The dying Edward VI made Jane his heir and, on 6 July 1553, aged 16, she became queen. Her reign lasted nine days: when Mary Tudor claimed the throne, Jane was sent to the Tower and beheaded in 1554. In this compassionate biography, Plowden tells the story of a gifted, scholarly girl, doomed by her royal blood.
The Dark Stuff
Stories from the Peatlands
Blending memoir, travelogue and natural history, The Dark Stuff investigates a unique, often undervalued resource. Recalling his childhood on the moorland of Lewis, Murray explores the story of peat-cutting for fuel and compost. He visits peatlands from Ireland to Australia, examines the role of peat in folklore and the ancient bodies preserved in it, and explains the environmental threats faced by peat landscapes.
A Mind at Play
The Brilliant Life of Claude Shannon, Inventor of the Information Age
One of the key thinkers of the computer age, Claude Shannon worked as a cryptanalyst during the Second World War and his contributions to digital circuit design and information theory in the 1930s and 1940s made modern computing possible. This biography explores his life, academic achievements and influential personal projects, such as a maze-solving mouse (one of the first experiments in artificial intelligence) and the first design for a chess-playing computer.
Maud Allan and the Myth of the Femme Fatale
In 1918 the dancer Maud Allan brought a libel case against Noel Billing MP for claiming in print that she was a lesbian. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Wendy Buonaventura explores Allan’s controversial career, and examines the way the case embodied early 20th-century attitudes to ‘dangerous’ women, whose independence, freedom from convention, and erotic allure were seen as a threat to the fabric of society, and even a cause of the First World War.
Rooms with a View
The Secret Life of Grand Hotels
The world’s grandest hotels offer luxury, service and splendour, and each has its own story of love affairs conducted and revolutions fomented beneath its roof. Arranged geographically, this book visits 50 of the greatest, including New York’s Algonquin, where Dorothy Parker held court; the Dorchester in London, favoured by Hitchcock and Hemingway; and the Imperial in Delhi, where the details of India’s independence were negotiated.
British Aristocrats in the American West 1830–1890
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.