An Adventure History of Paris
Paris is one of the most alluring cities in the world; however well we know it, it never ceases to surprise. Reading this book, which retells its history through the lives of its inhabitants from Balzac to Baudelaire, Sartre to Sarkozy, is like stumbling upon a tiny restaurant frequented by eccentric locals. Robb is both a scholar and an adventurer, and from 250 years of urban history, he weaves a dazzling tapestry of fact and fantasy, memory and myth. Slightly off-mint.
A Series of Original Portraits and Character Etchings
Previously a surgeon-barber, John Kay (1742–1826) set up shop as a portrait etcher in Edinburgh in 1785. Published in 1837–8 and commonly called Edinburgh Portraits, this work presents, in no particular order, around 300 of Kay's etchings of people from all walks of Edinburgh life, with 'biographical' sketches and 'illustrative anecdotes' by James Paterson. These volumes are facsimiles of the first edition. Limited edition of 600. Slipcased.
Unearthing the Truth
Egypt's Pagan and Coptic Sculpture
Published to accompany an exhibition held in 2009, this is an illustrated catalogue of the Brooklyn Museum's collection of Egyptian Late Antique sculpture made for both pagans and Coptic Christians between the 4th century and the Arab conquest. Curator Edna Russmann first describes 21 reliefs which use plant forms, Christian imagery and scenes from pagan myth; then presents evidence which suggests that a further ten items are modern forgeries or reworkings. Slightly off-mint.
Seadogs Aboard an English Galleon
English ships of the 1520s were built principally for coastal sailing but over the following century designs, and the life of the men aboard, changed rapidly as Elizabethan mariners ventured far beyond home waters. Drawn from accounts of hundreds of 16th century and early 17th century ocean voyages, including the words of Drake and Ralegh, this book explores how these intrepid seamen coped with tropical heat, violent storms, bad water, rotten food, disease, navigational problems and enemy fire.
The Early Art of Coventry, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick and lesser sites
Surveying the county before recent boundary changes, this volume presents a subject list of extant and lost art in the churches, civic buildings and museums of Warwickshire, including items relevant to early drama. Not typeset. No jacket.
An inspiration to preserve what remains, this volume draws on the photographic collections of the Irish Architectural Archive to present a substantial sample of Ireland's lost built heritage. The book is arranged geographically and shows buildings and thoroughfares that range from dry-stone huts, workers' terraces and open markets – bustling with life in 19th century photographs – to grand houses and even castles, including John Nash's Gothic-revival masterpiece at Clogheen, 'destroyed by malice and indifference in 1957'.
A History of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps
From the world's first postage stamp, the 1840 Penny Black, to the First Class stamp 2012, Chris West's selection of 36 stamps – 'some beautiful, some quirky, some baffling, some stained with blood' – are the inspiration for his idiosyncratic and entertaining history of Britain. Among his collection are the 1881 Penny Lilac (33 billion printed); the first decimal set (1971); and a single foreign stamp telling a story of reparations and hyperinflation: a 1923 German 200 mark stamp, overprinted 2 million.
A Biography of the World's Greatest River
‘Without doubt the greatest and most influential river system in the world’, the Blue, White and lower Nile together are the subject of Robert Twigger’s idiosyncratic, discursive narrative. A resident of Cairo until recently, he combines personal experience of present-day Egypt with the history, geography and ‘stories red in tooth and claw’ of the river, from its elusive source to Mansoura in the delta, and from shifting tectonic plates in the mists of time to revolution in 2011.
The Last Days of Pompeii
Decadence. Apocalypse. Resurrection
'The most famously dead of all ancient cities, yet the one that comes most vividly alive to us today', Pompeii has provided a metaphor for artists to explore the concerns of their own day ever since its rediscovery in the 18th century. This volume, which accompanied an exhibition at the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, explores the legacy of Pompeii in 92 works that range from 18th-century recreations of Roman murals to paintings by artists including Dali, Rothko and Warhol.
The Golden Age of Maritime Maps
When Europe Discovered the World
Portolan charts – from the Italian portolano, meaning 'relating to ports' – were used by sailors from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. Painted on vellum, they show every coastal feature, with the seas criss-crossed by rhumb lines. This book reproduces 142 of these maps in detail, with experts tracing their origins among the Jewish cartographers of Majorca, the influence of Islamic and Indian mapmakers, and the maps' dissemination as Europeans began to explore the Atlantic and Indian oceans.
Waterloo to Wellington
From Iron Duke to Enlightened College
As a wartime commander and peacetime politician, the Duke of Wellington towered over British life throughout the first half of the 19th century. In 1856, four years after his death, Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone of Wellington College, a school in Berkshire for servicemen's sons. Handsomely illustrated with colour photographs and period images, this book charts the Duke's career, and reflects on how his character and intellect have shaped to this day the school named in his honour.
North Korea Caught in Time
Images of War and Reconstruction
Recent events have propelled the secretive Communist state of North Korea into the news, but for six decades it has remained a mystery to outsiders. This interesting book includes 150 rare photos, many of them never seen before in the West, that chart the devastation of the war that gave it birth, and the determined reconstruction that followed. The accompanying essay by Balazs Szalontai recounts the untold story of how ordinary Koreans endured the conflict, and the totalitarian system that emerged from it.
A Photographic History
South Asians coming to Victorian Britain tended to be soldiers or domestics serving the Empire or the elite seeking education, but later mass migrations from the subcontinent, East Africa and the Caribbean started to forge a uniquely British Asian culture. Mixing images of ordinary people facing the challenges of living and working in their new home with political figures, activists, pioneers and celebrities, this photographic collection charts the experiences of Asians in Britain from the late 19th century to the present day.
England's Lost Colony
In the 1650s, a group of Cavaliers fled Cromwell’s England for the lush coast of Surinam. Here, they established a colony named after its founder, Sir Thomas Willoughby. This absorbing book explores the untold story of the colony’s rise and fall. The rich cast of characters includes Willoughby himself, the playwright Aphra Behn, the indigenous people and their rulers, and the planters and mercenaries who would turn this utopia into a hell of terror and slavery.
Dawn of Egyptian Art
The objects made during the Predynastic and Early Dynastic periods (ca. 4400–2649 BCE) provide the best means of examining how the ancient civilization in the Nile Valley gave rise to Pharaonic Egypt. Discussing 183 items, from a bowl inscribed for King Djet (ca. 3050 BCE) to the stela of King Raneb (ca 2880 BCE), this volume reflects on the early Egyptians’ representations of people, animals and the landscape, and their reasons for making these objects.
This modern history concentrates on the century and a half since the incorporation of Venice into Italy, examining political, social and economic developments through the belle époque, two world wars and the fascist regime. Richard Bosworth discusses the themes of consumerism and culture, cosmopolitanism and nationalism, and religious disputes; explores the threats posed by mass tourism and global warming; and argues that today’s visitors are an intrinsic part of the city’s evolving contemporary identity.
A Short History
Dismayed by historians’ focus on the British imperial era, Andrew Robinson, the author of books on Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, presents a non-academic study of India, from the Indus Valley civilization of the third millennium BCE, to the present day. Robinson tackles significant aspects in India’s story, rather than aiming to be comprehensive, and treats individuals, ideas and cultures as equal in importance to the rise and fall of kingdoms, political parties and economies.
A Rich and Curious History of Pirates, Castaways and Madness
Daniel Defoe's famous castaway has been etched into the popular imagination for three centuries – but what of his island? This book identifies the real place – Juan Fernández Island in the South Pacific – and charts its colourful and often violent history. Drawing on voyage journals, maps and illustrations, Andrew Lambert brings to life the voices of visiting sailors, scientists, writers and artists from the early encounters of the 1500s to the naval battles of the First World War.