The Maker of Modern France
A proud, indomitable, absolutist monarch, Francis I (1494–1547) ‘was the king that his country needed, if not the one it might have wished for’, and despite his achievements – in unifying and glorifying France and as the patron of art and architecture who recruited Leonardo da Vinci to his court and built Fontainebleau – Francis is remembered, if at all, for his failings. In this biography, Leonie Frieda offers a rigorous reassessment of the ‘Maker of Modern France’.
The Secret Twenties
British Intelligence, the Russians and the Jazz Age
Beneath the glamour and hedonism of the Roaring Twenties lay a fear that Britain was under threat from the fledgling Soviet state, and that its agents were everywhere, gathering intelligence and fomenting unrest. Drawing on newly declassified documents, this book uncovers British intelligence’s largest peacetime operation, a spy hunt that cast its net over MPs, aristocrats, the Bloomsbury group, workers and trade unionists, bringing down a government and ending several eminent careers.
The Lost Revolution
Germany 1918 to 1923
‘Without an understanding of the defeat of the revolutionary movements of Germany after the First World War’, writes Chris Harman, ‘the Nazism that followed cannot be understood’. In this book he presents an in-depth study of the lost revolution in Germany, revealing its significance for the Russian Revolution and its lessons for future revolutionary struggle. International Socialism series.
The Maker of Modern France
A proud, indomitable, absolutist monarch, Francis I (1494–1547) ‘was the king that his country needed, if not the one it might have wished for’, and despite his achievements – in unifying and glorifying France and as the patron of art and architecture who recruited Leonardo da Vinci to his court and built Fontainebleau – Francis is remembered, if at all, for his failings. In this biography, Leonie Frieda offers a rigorous reassessment of the ‘Maker of Modern France’. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.’
Greek Civilization Through the Eyes of Travellers
From The Collection of Dimitris Contominas
The library of businessman Dimitris Contominas in Athens is one of the world’s most important private collections of antiquarian books. This catalogue presents 825 items, which relate largely to foreign travellers’ visits to Greece since the 15th century but also include works on Greek history. Bibliographical details are provided for each book, together with brief information on the authors and contents. Illustrations show a selection of the volumes’ bindings and engravings.
The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45
First published in 1946, the pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman’s account of his survival in the Warsaw Ghetto inspired an Oscar-winning film. Reprinted with diary extracts by the German officer who saved him, it offers a picture of the claustrophobia and terror of ghetto life.
Crimea from Potemkin to Putin
Since it was founded in 1783, during the reign of Catherine the Great and Potemkin, Sevastopol has survived a long history of conflict, including two major sieges: the city’s commanding strategic advantage as a naval anchorage in the Black Sea has made it a city worth fighting for. In this study, Mungo Melvin traces the story of Sevastopol and its Crimean hinterland since prehistory, illuminating the historical background to the 2014 referendum vote to return to Russia.
Standing Up to Hitler 1935–1944
Even before the Second World War, senior German officers were seeking to save their country by overthrowing Hitler. Paddy Ashdown profiles opponents such as Admiral Canaris and draws on newly released files to reveal their repeated efforts to pass military secrets the Allies. He also consider whether half of Europe would have fallen under the Soviet yoke had Britain and the US heeded their attempts to negotiate a peace settlement in 1943. Slightly off-mint.
The Devil's Diary
Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich
Alfred Rosenberg was the principal ideologue behind the Nazi Party, whose ideas formed the theoretical basis for the Third Reich and the Holocaust. This book chronicles his rise to power, his relations with other leading Nazis, and his trial and execution. Its sources include Rosenberg’s own diary, which disappeared after his trial at Nuremberg and was only rediscovered 75 years later.
The Great War
Through Picture Postcards
Picture postcards were the main way that troops and their families communicated during the 1914‒18 war, and the illustrations and slogans they displayed give us insights into their lives and attitudes. The more than 500 contemporary cards in this collection come from a variety of home fronts and theatres of war around the world. They demonstrate everything from patriotic propaganda and angry satire to startling images of mass graves, proud displays of new weapons and soldiers cheerfully posing in gas masks.
Memoirs and Reflections
Born in Moscow in 1971, Evgeny Kissin made his concert debut at the age of ten and is now internationally renowned for his interpretation of the classical and Romantic piano repertoire. In this collection of reminiscences he answers some of the questions that he is most often asked – about his childhood, his early teachers and his encounters with the world’s great musicians – and muses on topics including fame, inspiration and his favourite composers. Slightly off-mint.
Napoleon's Other War
Bandits, Rebels and thier Pursuers in the Age of Revolutions
Illuminating a less familiar aspect of Napoleon’s empire, Michael Broers’s study focuses not on military clashes with foreign enemies but on the animosity of rural populations – peasantry, marginalized nobility and deposed clergy – and their resistance towards the new regimes of urban revolution and Napoleon. Demonized as ‘bandits’ rather than ideological opponents, these were the enemy in Napoleon’s ‘other war’.
Love Among the Ruins
A Memoir of Life and Love in Hamburg, 1945
The author and activist Harry Leslie Smith recalls how, as an RAF serviceman stationed in Hamburg, he met the love of his life, a young German woman named Frieda. In a city reduced to rubble by Allied bombing, and populated with refugees, black-marketeers, corrupt businessmen and cynical soldiers, their relationship flourished, despite suspicion and disapproval on both sides. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Pašić and Trumbić
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
The delegates of the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia) – Pašić, the wartime Prime Minister of Serbia, and Trumbić, a Dalmatian Croat – had differing territorial objectives but were united in an ideal: unification and international recognition for Yugoslavia. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Ion IC Brătianu
Ionel Brătianu went to Paris convinced that Romania had made the right alliances and sacrifices to earn a place at Conference and territorial reward; but Romania’s 1918 Bucharest Treaty with the Central Powers was held against him and his quest to modernize his nation. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Ignacy Paderewski
After sketching the historical background to the Polish situation in 1914, this study focuses on Ignacy Paderewski, the internationally renowned pianist and nationalist who represented Poland in Paris and who contributed greatly to its emergence as an independent nation in 1919. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Vittorio Orlando
Against history’s ‘default’ position on Italy’s First World War history – its poor military performance and unjustified demands at the Peace Conference – this study examines the country’s aims and actions through the career of its wartime leader Vittorio Emanuele Orlando. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Mihály Károlyi and István Bethlen
Structured around the careers of two future Hungarian Prime Ministers, Károlyi and Bethlen, this volume shows how the punitive terms imposed by the Treaty of Trianon led Hungary to its future alliance with the Nazis, defeat and Soviet domination. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Friedrich Ebert
Imperial Chancellor as of 9 November 1918, Ebert guided the German delegation from Berlin. Rejecting the Versailles Treaty demands for punitive reparations, war crimes trials and admission of war guilt, Ebert considered re-opening hostilities before finally agreeing to sign. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Georges Clemenceau
David Robin Watson describes the political career of Georges Clemenceau and his negotiations with his allies and adversaries at the Peace Conference, during which, as Chairman, he made the dramatic presentation of the Versailles Treaty to the German delegation. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Antonius Piip, Zigfrīds Meierovics and Augustinas Voldemaras
The Baltic States
The three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) faced territorial threats from Germany, Russia and Poland in 1919, and their delegates played a crucial role in securing their independence during and after the Paris Conferences.
Makers of the Modern World: Eduard Beneš and Tomáš Masaryk
Tomáš Masaryk returned from exile to become first President of the Czechoslovak Republic in December 1918. If Masaryk was ‘the stallion of the Czechoslovak cause’, Eduard Beneš was its coolly logical and hard-working advocate, arguing for the nation’s right to independence.
Makers of the Modern World: Aleksandŭr Stamboliĭski
The victors dictated the peace settlement: there was virtually no negotiation for the defeated, and Stamboliĭski, Bulgaria’s new leader, had to accept the terms of the Treaty of Neuilly. This study examines his career and the agrarian political ideas that survived his murder in 1923.
Makers of the Modern World: Paul Hymans
During the War, German violation of Belgium’s neutrality made the country a symbol of the rights of small states. The Peace Conference was the diplomatic debut for both Belgium and its inexperienced and outspoken representative, fighting for a voice amid the Great Powers. Slightly off-mint.
Makers of the Modern World: Karl Renner
Jamie Bulloch’s study spans the whole career of Karl Renner, leader of the Austrian delegation to the Paris negotiations where, as heir to the defunct Habsburg Monarchy, the new Austrian Republic was obliged to pay for the damage wrought by the imperial regime.
Seats of Power in Europe during the Hundred Years War
An Architectural Study from 1330 to 1480
Surveying more than 60 residences of the crowned heads and royal dukes of countries involved in the Hundred Years War, this illustrated study investigates whether the castles, palaces and manor houses of the War’s protagonists reflect a defensive purpose, a social function or the personality of the builders. After an introduction to the military, political and architectural background, the book discusses residences in France and England, but also in Scotland, Flanders and the Iberian Peninsula, during the period 1330 to 1483.
The End of the Gallop
The Battle for Kharkov, February–March 1943
A leading military historian, who specialises in the Second World War’s Eastern Front, analyses one of the most intriguing periods of the Battles for Kharkov, when German forces retook the city. The conquest seemed decisive, but the complex daily troop manoeuvres and tactical switches that were involved laid the groundwork for the Soviets to reframe their strategy for a final victory later in the year.
Out in Front
A Polish Fighter Pilot's Dramatic Air War
Fighter pilot Lanowski tells the story of his Second World War – escape from Axis soldiers in his native Poland, his combat experience with three separate Allied air forces, and his legendary, rebellious exploits – with previously unpublished photographs of his comrades and aircraft.
Women in Ancient Greece
Seclusion, Exclusion, or Illusion?
Most histories of Ancient Greece focus on male protagonists, implying that women were a secluded, excluded part of society. Paul Chrystal questions this assumption, investigating the lives of Ancient Greek women writers, philosophers, artists and scientists, and their experiences of love, marriage, religion and death. Drawing on Homer, Hesiod and others, he demonstrates that women’s roles were far more nuanced and complex than previously portrayed.
The Veteran's Story
For the bombers of the RAF and USAF, supporting the invasion on D-Day was the culmination of a planned series of strategic raids in preparation for the landings. Focusing on the service of eight crews, and drawing on first-hand accounts, this analysis of the campaign explains the wider strategy and describes the personal experiences of the airmen, from raids on German infrastructure in spring 1944 to supporting land forces several months after D-Day.
Rebel in the Ranks
Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts that Continue to Shape Our World
The modern separation of religion from other aspects of life is one of many unintended consequences of the Reformation that would have shocked Martin Luther. This study of the devout Augustinian friar and his influence sets Luther within his cultural and intellectual contexts to explain what he was trying to achieve. It then traces 500 years of epochal changes, from the Enlightenment to consumerism, which were caused by the resulting political and social upheavals across Europe. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Plots Against Hitler
Danny Orbach explores the perennial question of what could have been done to stop Hitler in this exploration of the Third Reich’s anti-Nazi underground. Disparate small groups based on academic, political, personal and religious affiliations tried repeatedly to end the Führer’s genocidal reign. This is their story of the sometimes ingenious but always doomed efforts, looking at the assassination plans and ethical conflicts surrounding the attempts.
The Fear and the Freedom
How the Second World War Changed Us
The Second World War was one of the most destructive in history, but also one of the most innovative, sweeping away empires and creating new global institutions. Ranging over five continents, this study examines how the war shaped the modern world, inaugurating the arms race and the space race, the United Nations and Bretton Woods, decolonization and globalization. With demagoguery on the rise again, it argues, we cannot afford to ignore this legacy.
The Post Book
This illustrated account of postal history by the professional philatelist Vincent Schouberechts focuses on 50 archival documents from across Europe, such as a letter written by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in 1506, a piece of military correspondence sent during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and the first mail delivered in space in 1969. It is accompanied by bilingual (English/French) explanatory text.
Lions and Lambs
Conflict in Weimar and the Creation of Post-Nazi Germany
Against the more usual interpretation of post-war Germany’s ‘economic miracle’ as the result of American-led reconstruction, this study turns to the social and political groupings within Germany itself and the ideas and decisions of the Germans who created the country’s post-Nazi liberal democracy. The study is, in Strote’s words, ‘a history of how former enemies partnered together and how a region with a tradition of internal strife became pacified’.
How the French Think
An Affectionate Portrait of an Intellectual People
The historian Sudhir Hazareesingh traces the progress of French thought, from Descartes and Rousseau, through Auguste Comte, Sartre and Levi-Strauss to Derrida, and shows how it has informed Western ideas about freedom, rationality and justice. Off-mint.
A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond
Stephen O’Shea overcomes his fear of heights to crest the high Alpine passes and explore the history of the ‘fearsome, gargantuan intrusion of stone inconveniently located not at the edge but square in the middle of Europe’. Travelling west to east, from Lake Geneva to Trieste, he tells the stories of the armies, Crusaders, pilgrims and traders who have crossed the mountains; how the Alps inspired the Romantics, mountaineers and engineers; and how its 1,599 peaks have divided Europe’s languages, cuisine, culture, religion and history.
Mercedes Benz Type G4 (W31)
The Ultimate Study
The extravagant and impressive six-wheeled, all-terrain Mercedes G4 was developed for the Nazi leadership in the 1930s, providing a powerful symbol of state. Only 57 of the exclusive limousines were ever built and this tribute traces its history, development and manufacture, examines its use by Hitler and General Franco, and provides an extensive photographic study of one of only four surviving examples.
The Last Voyage of the Lusitania
The sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat in 1915 was a historic event, not just because it was the most famous ship afloat and 1,200 people died, but because it was instrumental in bringing the United States into the war. First published in the 1950s, this analysis of the disaster draws on survivors' accounts and naval records to reconstruct the last days of the luxury liner.
Baroque Naples and the Industry of Painting
The Word in the Workbench
In a scholarly, richly illustrated study of the mid-17th-century Neapolitan art world, Marshall charts the links between the artisans, painters and dealers of this bustling city and its wealthy patrons and consumers of art. Among the topics examined are the working lives of artists, the process of buying and selling cabinet pictures, the rise of the exhibition, and the careers of successful artists such as Luca Giordano, Jusepe de Ribera and Massimo Stanzione.