The History of Abyssinia
From the country's mythical and historical origins, this concise narrative traces the history of Ethiopia through to the 20th century and the Italian invasion attempt in 1935, during the reign of Ras Tafari (Haile Selassie I). A final section, written during the crisis, describes the dispute with Italy. First published in 1935. Slightly off-mint.
Secrets, Spies and Sources
The release of thousands of intelligence files to the National Archives means that we are no longer dependent on sensationalist journalism or the memoirs of ex-operatives for our understanding of the role of secret intelligence. Drawing on recently accessible material, this book illuminates the shady world of espionage, how it has served Britain since the early 1900s, and how ‘in its long and distinguished history, British intelligence has spied on almost every country in the world’.
The Paper Trail
An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention
In this award-winning history of ‘the great trail that paper blazed across the world’, Monro follows the journey of a simple Chinese invention along the Silk Road to Europe and beyond. Assessing the extent of paper’s influence on human history over two millennia, he highlights its role in the growth of Buddhism and the spread of Luther’s subversive ideas, before considering what the future holds for the printed book.
English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper
Was it a betrayal of the modern movement to be in love, as John Piper was, with old churches? Harris finds the engagement of artists and writers with the English countryside during the interwar years ‘an expression of responsibility - towards places, people and histories too valuable and too vulnerable to go missing from art’. Among the now much-admired figures discussed are Paul Nash, Edward Bawden, Gertrude Hermes, John Betjeman and Daphne du Maurier, and the book features carefully chosen quotations and reproductions of their works.
Houses of History
A Critical Reader in Twentieth-Century History and Theory
A clear, jargon-free introduction to the major theoretical perspectives of 20th-century historians, this reader comprises twelve chapters on major schools of thought, from the empiricists to postmodernists. Each school is represented by a seminal text, including essays by EP Thompson (Marxist), Braudel (Annales), Theda Skocpol (historical sociology) and Catherine Hall (gender and history), accompanied by a substantial introduction and reading list.
The Making of the Modern Christmas
What do we mean by 'a traditional' Christmas? Were old Christmases that much better than modern celebrations? This book traces the history of Christmas from pagan mid-winter festivals to its establishment as a Christian feast in the 4th century, through Puritan disapproval and the Victorian revival and refurbishment of old customs to the present day. En route we find The Times in 1912 already lamenting the separation of 'the secular from the sacred part of Christmas'.
Hitler's Diaries, Lincoln's Assassins, and other Famous Frauds
‘History,’ said Napoleon, ‘is a set of lies agreed upon.’ The six audacious hoaxes examined in this book each became widely accepted as historical fact, before being exposed as a fraud. From the purported ‘missing link’ fossils of ‘Piltdown Man’ to the numerous volumes of the Hitler Diaries, they illustrate the forger’s devious modus operandi and warn how easily ‘wanting to believe’, either through greed or for ideological reasons, allows us to be fooled.
The Christmas Collection
With 46 tracks ranging from a medieval recipe for Christmas pastries to The Christmas Tree by Cecil Day Lewis and including pieces by Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen, John Betjeman and an entire Christmas Mummers’ Play, this anthology covers every aspect of the festive season. The pieces are read by a cast including Peter Jeffrey, John Moffat and Susan Engel. 2 CDs; playing time 2hrs 31mins.
Crown in Candlelight
In another classic of historical romance, the author of We Speak No Treason tells the story of Katherine de Valois, from the French court of her father, Charles VI, through marriage to Henry V of England after his victory at Agincourt, to early widowhood and her love for Owen Tudor. First published in 1978.