Columbus and the Conquest of the Impossible
Columbus is widely credited as the creator of the transatlantic imperium that dominates the world today. This highly readable biography presents the explorer in a new and surprising light: as a religious mystic and primitive celestial navigator whose inability to use modern instruments so infuriated his crew that they threatened to throw him overboard. A new introduction by the author assesses the findings of the latest research.
One of the world's foremost historians of China, Jonathan Spence presents a concise biography of Mao Zedong, deflating myths and showing how, through relentless energy and ruthless self-confidence, Mao was able to attain so much power and hold on to it for so long. Spence likens him to a 'Lord of Misrule', turning traditional Chinese society upside down in 'a long drawn-out adventure in upheaval'.
How Georgian Britain's Worst Husband Met His Match
Mary Bowes was the richest heiress in 18th-century England. When a handsome Irish soldier, Andrew Robinson Stoney, was mortally wounded in a duel fought to defend her honour, she could hardly refuse his dying wish to marry her. But then he made a remarkable recovery. This compelling biography tells how she was tricked into a brutal and abusive marriage, and how she managed to escape with the help of a loyal servant.