An Exploration of Shakespeare's World Through Maps
In Shakespeare’s time explorers were adding to European knowledge of distant places and peoples, while advances in cartography allowed for more accurate projections and more detailed mapping. Presenting many contemporary representations of English and European locations, the wider world and the heavens, Jeremy Black examines what such maps reveal about the ways in which playwright and audience understood geography and how they viewed their place in the world and the universe. Slightly off-mint.
The Dark Side of East London
The alleyways and estates of Tower Hamlets have always been rife with poverty and crime: focusing on the 18th and 19th century, local historian David Charnick tells dark tales of murders, poisonings and abductions, using them to reveal aspects of everyday life before and during the encroachment of London’s East End. A specially commissioned section of black and white photographs shows the locations of many of the events.
Wallis in Love
The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Women Who Changed the Monarchy
Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story, turns his attention to Wallis Simpson, the twice-married divorcée who claimed the heart of Edward VIII, causing his abdication. Drawing on interviews, secret letters, diaries and previously unseen primary sources, Morton charts Wallis’s life, from falling in love with a female teacher as a teenager to ignoring the cries of her husband as he lay dying. While Morton makes plain Wallis’s disdain for the duke, it seems his devotion to her never wavered.
A History of the City
The historian and columnist for The National in Scotland, Michael Fry offers a new perspective on the history and culture of Glasgow as ‘a unique species of urban civilization’. His book takes in the whole span of the city’s history, from the sixth century to the present day, but is structured thematically, in chapters exploring Glasgow’s trade and industry, religion, the lives and politics of its ‘patricians’ and ‘plebeians’, and its distinctive styles of language, literature and art.
The Dandy at Dusk
Taste and Melancholy in the Twentieth Century
Dandyism is often thought to be about extravagance of dress. Combining biography, social history and men’s fashion, this study reveals it to be something different: an austere, almost religious dedication to style. Through profiles of six 20th-century dandies – the Duke of Windsor, the architect Adolf Loos, Bunny Roger, Quentin Crisp, Jean-Philippe Melville and the film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder – it probes issues of identity, nostalgia and the self-created persona.
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.
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.
The Real Guy Fawkes
Guy Fawkes is among British history’s most recognizable figures, burned in effigy every November to celebrate the Gunpowder Plot’s failure. His early life is less familiar though, and so this biography focuses on his youth as a Protestant in York and the motivations that led him to fight as a mercenary and to plan mass murder for the Catholic cause, asking whether he was ‘a fanatic, a fool, or a freedom fighter’.
The Life of Henrietta Anne
Daughter of Charles I
Melanie Clegg offers a detailed biography of the youngest daughter of Charles I. Her prestige enhanced by her dramatic escape from parliamentary forces during the Civil War, the infant Henrietta Anne was cherished by the court in her mother's native France. As a young woman, her flirtatious reputation belied her political acumen, but the part she played in negotiating the Secret Treaty of Dover in 1670 was a notable highpoint in her short, at times controversial, life.