Plague, War, and Hellfire
The year 1666 saw England struck by numerous catastrophes, including a devastating outbreak of plague, the Great Fire of London and an intensification of the second Anglo-Dutch War. This colourful account of the fateful year (and events leading up to it) is peopled by actors, courtiers, politicians and scientists, including Samuel Pepys, Robert Hooke and Nell Gwynn, and evokes a nation in the grip of great artistic, social and scientific change.
What Regency Women Did for Us
Women in early 19th-century England had few rights and little access to education. Rachel Knowles tells the inspiring stories of twelve women who overcame these obstacles to achieve greatness in business, science and the arts. Alongside Jane Austen are historical novelist Maria Edgeworth, fossil hunter Mary Anning; astronomer Caroline Herschel, actress Sarah Siddons, prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, and six others, all of whom helped shape the world we inhabit.
The Battle of Plassey 1757
The Victory That Won an Empire
When Clive of India and his tiny detachment of army officers and mercenaries defeated the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies in a mango grove near Plassey, he secured all of Bengal and, eventually, the whole of India for the East India Company. Drawing on an extraordinary collection of private papers, this study of the battle and the 13 months of campaigns leading up to it commemorates the men on both sides who fought and died in the conflict.
Informal Justice in England and Wales, 1760–1914
The Courts of Popular Opinion
Examining ‘unofficial justice as visited upon malefactors by the collective actions of private citizens’, Stephen Banks gives a scholarly account of public shaming rituals, or ‘rough music’, and the punishments imposed for crimes such as wife-beating or informing.
Farewell the Trumpets
An Imperial Retreat
Volume three of Morris’s Pax Britannica trilogy, but complete within itself, Farewell the Trumpets charts the decline and dissolution of the British Empire. Beginning with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and detecting the first signs of decay in the Boer Wars, the book follows the diminishing empire through world wars, the loss of India and the death of Winston Churchill in 1955 to ‘a somewhat tattered conclusion’ in the 1960s. Slightly off-mint.
The Amistad Rebellion
An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom
On 28 June 1893, the Spanish slave schooner Amistad set sail from Havana to deliver its human cargo. Four days later, its captives escaped and killed the captain, but were captured by the US Navy and imprisoned in Connecticut. Using newly discovered evidence, this powerful account reclaims the rebellion, which inspired Steven Spielberg’s film, for its instigators, the African rebels whose struggle for justice went all the way to the Supreme Court and changed the course of history.
Gibraltar in the Age of Napoleon
After a long history as a site of strategic importance, Gibraltar, the lone British stronghold in the Mediterranean, played a vital role in the Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). This history examines how the military and naval offensive potential of the hitherto defensive fortress was realized; the part Gibraltar played as the site of British and Spanish negotiations during the Peninsular War; and how its garrison and dockyard contributed to Nelson’s victories in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar.
The Tiger and the Ruby
A Journey to the Other Side of British India
In 1841, Nigel Holleck left Britain to work as a clerk in the East India Company. After eight years in the post, he disappeared without trace in Nepal. A century and a half later, Kief Hillsbery set out to find the final resting place of his ancestor. The result is this remarkable tale of a clash of civilizations, a quest to discover one’s own identity, and a moving story of one man against an empire.
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.
Britain Yesterday & Today
Like their modern counterparts, Britons of the 19th century visited the seaside, ate fish and chips, attended football matches and cheered royal processions, but today these activities look rather different and other aspects of British life have changed beyond recognition. This collection of photographs compares images of similar scenes, a century or more apart, to present a nostalgic look at the changing times and the unchanging traditions of British life.
Censoring Queen Victoria
How Two Gentlemen Edited a Queen and Created an Icon
After Queen Victoria’s death, it was decided to publish her correspondence. Based on unprecedented access to royal archives, this work of historical detection profiles the men chosen to edit the letters: the depressive schoolmaster Arthur Benson, and Viscount Esher, a royal confidant obsessed with Eton schoolboys. It shows how their decisions shaped our perception of Victoria, and reveals aspects of the Queen not intended for public scrutiny.
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.
A British Lion in Zululand
Sir Garnet Wolseley in South Africa
The Anglo-Irish soldier Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley (1833–1913) was a household name in his lifetime. In just one year, he captured two powerful Zulu leaders who had inflicted crushing defeats on the British. Drawing on hitherto unused material, including 600 of Wolseley’s own letters, and field trips to long-forgotten battle sites, William Wright brings this ambitious, clever, insecure officer vividly to life, and sheds new light on an important but neglected aspect of colonial history.
The Battle Of Majuba Hill
The Transvaal Campaign, 1880–1881
Defeat of the British occupying forces by the rebellious Boers at the Battle of Majuba Hill was seen as a military disaster by the British public, the ‘uncivilized’ tactics of the Boers condemned as savage and despicable. This account of Majuba Hill begins with a detailed history of the annexation of Transvaal by the British in 1877, assesses preceding battles and skirmishes, including Bronkhorstspruit and Laing’s Nek, and features battlefield maps, photographs and illustrations.
The Battle of Waterloo
This handsomely illustrated volume tells the story of one of the greatest battles of all time, examining the strengths and weaknesses of the three leaders, Wellington, Napoleon and Marshal Blücher, the nature of their armies and available weaponry, and the controversies surrounding the French defeat. Featuring journals and letters describing troop movements and conditions during the campaign, this account identifies the generals who made mistakes, and questions whether the victory was really Wellington’s alone.
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.
The Burning of Washington
The British Invasion of 1814
In 1814, British troops marched into Washington DC, torched the White House and Capitol, and forced President Hamilton to flee. This compelling history traces the background, the action and the aftermath of a conflict that would shape the fledgling USA.
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.