The Uncrowned Queen
Lady Arbella Stuart, cousin to both Elizabeth I and James VI of Scotland, was a woman whose parents' marriage had been orchestrated to provide an heir to the English throne. Raised by her grandmother, Bess of Hardwick, Arbella lived in the shadow and at the mercy of Elizabeth. This study focuses on her lineage, life and legacy, revealing a well-educated woman, desperate to control her own destiny, but ultimately powerless against the politics and intrigue of the Tudor court.
The King Who Fell at Hastings
Peter Rex's biography of Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, reveals an astute political operator who, as Earl of Wessex, rose to a powerful position in Edward the Confessor's England. Rex examines the complexities of the English succession, Harold's sojourn in Normandy before he became king in January 1066, and his brief reign during a year that 'tested the Old English military system to destruction', with Harald Hardrada beaten at Stamford Bridge, but Harold killed in battle at Hastings.
Captain of the Carpathia
The Seafaring Life of Titanic Hero Sir Arthur Henry Rostron
Destined to be remembered for being first to the scene of the Titanic disaster in 1912, Arthur Rostron later commanded the Mauretania as a hospital and troop ship during the First World War and on transatlantic passenger service throughout the 1920s. Drawing on contemporary publications and personal memoirs this book recounts the life of a distinguished seafarer who began his career in the last days of sail and ended as Commodore of the Cunard Line.
Peter Mundy was a 17th-century trader whose journeys took him to Istanbul, India, China, Danzig, Russia and the Arctic. His account of his remarkable travels, illustrated with his own lively drawings of the strange people and animals he encountered, survives in a single manuscript. This edited selection provides a vivid and fascinating account of the Ottoman, Mughal, Chinese and Russian empires, as well as events in London following the coronation of Charles II in 1661.
Miracles of Life
Shanghai to Shepperton
Few writers have chronicled the effects of technology and the media on the human psyche as prophetically as JG Ballard. Written in the last few years of his life, this memoir charts his journey from a Shanghai childhood, through his family’s wartime internment by the Japanese, to post-war English suburbia. As he narrates his experiences, the classic tropes of his fiction – desolate landscapes, empty swimming pools, low-flying aircraft, car accidents and celebrity death – take on new resonance.
Mary Ann Caws describes her short, lucid biography of Marcel Proust as ‘visually inclined’ – a biography in which the illustrations are as important as the words. Chapters on facets of Proust’s life and work are accompanied by over 100 images, including family photos, reproductions of paintings he admired, photographs of contemporary writers, artists, musicians and dancers, and portraits of the acquaintances and socialites who were the sources for his fictional characters.
On the Trail of Mary, Queen of Scots
Roy Calley presents a visitor’s guide to the castles, palaces and houses associated with the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, from her birth in Linlithgow and early years in Stirling Castle to her execution at Fotheringay. As well as telling Mary’s story through her many places of residence and captivity, Calley describes sites such as Notre Dame in Paris, where she married Dauphin François in 1558 and Kirk O’Field, the scene of Darnley’s murder in 1567.