The King's Bed
Sex, Power and the Court of Charles II
Charles II was obsessed by women, and his conquests ranged across the classes, from the actress Nell Gwyn to the aristocrat Barbara Villiers. For the first time, this revealing book places the king’s compulsive philandering at the centre of an account of his reign. Taking us behind the scenes, it introduces a colourful cast of court favourites, politicians and a parade of mistresses fighting for influence over a king ruled – and ruined – by his passions.
A Farmer's Diary
A Year at High House Farm
Running a farm in Northumberland with 200 sheep, chickens, barley and wheat crops, and a micro-brewery and wedding venue operating from the outbuildings, requires many skills. Recording the work of the farm through the year, Sally Urwin gives an insight into the challenges, amusements and frustrations she encounters, from bringing in the harvest, lambing and sheep shearing to fixing dry stone walls and attending the village talent contest.
War! Hellish War! Star Shell Reflections 1916–1918
The Illustrated Great War Diaries of Jim Maultsaid
Jim Maultsaid was injured on the Somme in 1916, after which he was commissioned into the Chinese Labour Corps, directing these foreign recruits in non-combatant support work and manual labour. His unusual war diaries include his frank but often upbeat observations about his experiences as well as drawings, satirical cartoons and scrapbook photographs which give a unique insight into his everyday activities and the characters he encountered.
Into the Arms of Strangers
Stories of the Kindertransport
The violence in Germany on 9 November 1938, Kristallnacht, awakened public opinion in Britain to the Nazi threat, and one response to the plight of Jews in Germany and Austria was the system of evacuations set up by the Refugee Children’s Movement. The historian David Cesarini introduces this collection of stories – told in their own words – of men and women who came to Britain as child refugees as part of the scheme, known informally as the Kindertransport.
Crown of Blood
The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
In 1553, 17-year-old Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England to prevent the accession of Henry VIII’s Catholic daughter Mary. Thirteen days later she was imprisoned in the Tower, and in February 1554 she was beheaded. This narrative history draws on previously overlooked sources to create a vivid and engaging portrait of an intelligent, charismatic and deeply religious girl caught up in the power politics of her age, whose courage shone through her final, harrowing ordeal.
Gunpowder and Geometry
Charles Hutton had started work as a pit boy in a coal mine in the 1740s but a school in Newcastle nurtured him, first as pupil and then as teacher, and by the time he was 40, he was a Fellow of the Royal Society. This biography follows his meteoric rise and describes his contributions to mathematics, including work on the force of gunpowder and calculating the mass of the Earth.
The Authorised Biography of Nicol Williamson
John Osborne hailed him as ‘the greatest actor since Brando’; the New York Times called him ‘the terrible tiger of the English stage’. Nicol Williamson (1936–2011) was as renowned for his hellraising as for his Shakespearian heroes. Drawing on the recollections of his family and fellow actors, this biography follows his brilliant but chequered career, tracing the origins of his uncompromising and ultimately self-destructive genius in his tough Clydeside upbringing.