(two volume set)
Inspired by Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation television series of the 1960s, the 2018 BBC series explored the role of art and the creative imagination in the formation and development of civilizations. These two illustrated studies accompanied four programmes in the series, offering deeper explorations of their themes. The two titles included in this set are: How do we Look, The Eye of Faith (Read more...) First Contact, Cult of Progress (Read more...)
An Armchair Traveller's History of Finland
This guide to Finland’s people, history and landscape from prehistory to the present day explores its culture and its main historical figures, including Christian martyrs and Viking kings. The account offers advice on travel logistics, lists holidays and festivals and provides an overview of food and drink; and a gazetteer describes prominent cultural and natural landmarks.
An Armchair Traveller's History of Apulia
This unique voyage around Apulia, the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’, describes sites of cultural importance and links the region’s history to its topography, travelling from north to south and exploring the rugged landscape, cave towns and cities where successive conquerors have left their mark.
An Armchair Traveller's History of Cambridge
Cambridge is both a small East Anglian town and, thanks to its university, a world city. Illustrated with drawings by John Holder, this guide charts its history, describes its architectural riches and explains its curious traditions. Between each chapter an 'interlude' explores an aspect of Cambridge life: its gardens, gastronomy, music and theatricals. Details of the town's many museums are provided, along with suggestions for visits within a short driving distance.
Marks of Genius
Masterpieces from the Collections of the Bodleian Libraries
Presenting 130 treasures now preserved in Oxford, this volume examines how the idea of ‘genius’ has been understood through history. Manuscripts and printed books from around the world illustrate the revolutionary ideas of individuals as well as the beautiful results of artistic collaboration. Also featured are ephemera and artefacts associated with geniuses (Mendelssohn’s conducting batons, a portrait of Galileo) and material that was donated to the Bodleian (books from Christopher Wren’s library, Dorothy Hodgkin’s hand-drawn insulin map).
Mapping the City
From the bird’s-eye views and flat maps of Renaissance Europe to GPS-derived imagery and digital mapping of the present day, and from Asia to North America, Jeremy Black traces the development of the city and its representation by cartographers over the last 500 years. More than 150 reproductions illustrate the variety of maps and plans and their increasing sophistication through the centuries, ending with past visions of what the future city might look like and plans of new-build eco-cities today.
France and the French
A Modern History
This history offers a broad overview of the upheavals that shaped France in the 20th century: two world wars and the German occupation, the debacles in Vietnam and Algeria, membership of the European Community, and the student and workers’ uprisings of 1968. The book also focuses on the experience of everyday French life, which it explores through the politics of the workplace, the changing role of women, and the issues of immigration, national identity and social exclusion.
At Her Majesty's Secret Service
The Chiefs of Britain's Intelligence Service, MI6
The first 'C' of the British Secret Intelligence Service, Mansfield Smith-Cumming, began by recruiting retired military men who lived abroad. By the time Stewart Menzies took up the position in 1939, operations were greatly expanded; he oversaw the code-breaking at Bletchley Park and also presided over infiltration by the Cambridge spies. This book profiles the 15 men who have held the post, up to 2014, outlining the activities of the department during their tenure.
In Darkest England, and the Way Out (1890)
A runaway bestseller when it was published in Britain in 1890, this book by William Booth (1829–1912), the founder of The Salvation Army, deals with the serious social problems of late 19th-century Britain: unemployment, poverty, vice, crime and drunkenness. Booth shows how existing social agencies had failed and he sets out a solution, his own ‘scheme for salvation’. Reprinted in 1974 with a new foreword and introduction. No jacket.
Books on Fire
The Destruction of Libraries throughout History
Whatever the size of our libraries, we feel bound to enrich them and preserve them against the threats of fire and water, worms, war and earthquake. Polastron examines the world's libraries, from the Hebrew, Nordic and Islamic myths of a vast library which existed before the world's creation, to the catastrophic losses of the libraries of Alexandria, the Qing Dynasty and modern Iraq. He also asks whether the digitization of books threatens the very existence of the physical library.
The Curious Map Book
The creation of maps is often a serious business in which accuracy takes precedence over the imagination. This delightful book offers 100 unusual maps, from the British Library collection, in which the equation is reversed and fantasy comes to the fore. Here are nations portrayed as humans or animals: the British bulldog, the ‘Lion of the Low Countries’, the Russian bear. Many satirize the politics of their time; some depict fictional countries; while others are board games or jigsaw puzzles.
Memories and the City
Against a backdrop of shattered monuments, neglected villas and ghostly backstreets, a daydreaming boy seeks refuge from family discord in the imagination. In this highly original memoir, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk interweaves his own life, and the lives of his glamorous, unhappy parents, with that of his home city. The result is a blend of family reminiscence, history, philosophy, literature, art criticism and urban myth. This edition contains a new introduction and more than 200 additional photographs.
The South China Sea
The Struggle for Power in Asia
‘A fulcrum of world trade and a crucible of conflict’, the South China Sea, its shipping lanes and the ownership of its many island groups are matters of global concern. Bill Hayton, a journalist with long experience in Asia, gives a detailed account of the region’s complex history, from the earliest human migrations to the depletion of fish stocks today and problems of sovereignty and territory, which remain insoluble while China refuses to deal with these issues on a multilateral basis.
Royalty's Strangest Tales
Extraordinary but True Stories from Over 2,000 Years of Mad Monarchs and Raving Rulers
Isolated from reality, weakened by inbreeding or corrupted by power, many monarchs have demonstrated cruelty and eccentricity – from Caligula of Rome to Mobutu of Zaire. This collection of royal stories ranges from Charles VI of France, who thought he was made of glass, to the miraculous Kim Jong-il of North Korea, who, according to local sources, scored 38 under par the first time he played golf.
Portrait of a City Through the Centuries
‘No other place has been so twisted and torn across five centuries of conflict, from religious wars to Cold War, at the hub of Europe’s ideological struggle’: Rory MacLean traces the history of Berlin through 23 people who were inspired by the city or simply belonged there: from Konrad von Cölln, a poor 15th-century poet, through Frederick the Great, Christopher Isherwood and Bertolt Brecht, Marlene Dietrich, Goebbels, John F Kennedy and David Bowie, to a returning Holocaust survivor in 2013.
How Do We Look, The Eye of Faith
In How Do We Look, Mary Beard explores how the human body was portrayed in the earliest art, including the colossal Olmec heads of Central America, Egyptian pharaohs, Chinese warriors and Praxiteles’ Aphrodite in ancient Greece. In Part Two, The Eye of Faith she visits Buddhist temples, Christian art and architecture, and Islamic mosques and calligraphy to explore the relationship between art and religion and the endeavour to make the divine visible.
First Contact, Cult of Progress
David Olusoga explores the role of art in the moments of first contact, interaction and conflict between different civilizations, first in the Age of Discovery when Europe’s early imperialists encountered the indigenous peoples and art of other continents: contacts that resulted in mutual curiosity as well as conquest. In Part Two, The Cult of Progress, Olusoga looks at artistic reaction to post-industrial modernization in the 19th and early 20th centuries, ending with Otto Dix’s great triptych, The War (1932).
Treasures from the Royal Archives
Since 1914, the Round Tower at Windsor Castle has housed the Royal Archives, a vast collection of royal correspondence and memorabilia ranging from Elizabeth I’s household accounts to the present queen’s 100th birthday message to the Queen Mother. Published to mark the Archive’s 100th year at Windsor, this volume presents reproductions and transcripts of handwritten letters, journal entries and other documents, including Victoria’s letter to Florence Nightingale in Crimea and Winston Churchill’s letter to George VI, written in January 1941.
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.
Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain
Britain’s wealth and power was built not by kings and queens, soldiers and politicians, but by its entrepreneurs. Beginning with the Tudor merchants who created the first companies, this history charts the rise of British business through the careers of men such as Thomas Pitt, the saviour of the East India Company, the financier Nathan Rothschild, the Quaker-capitalist George Cadbury, the imperial buccaneer Cecil Rhodes, and William Lever, the philanthropist and creator of Britain’s first multinational.
City of Peace, City of Blood
When US troops entered Baghdad in 2003, they became the latest participants in a drama stretching back 13 centuries. The 'City of Peace', seat of a glittering Islamic civilization and home to astronomers, mathematicians, poets and musicians, has often been one of the most violent places on Earth. This compelling new history – the first in English for almost a century – examines Baghdad's changing fortunes, from its foundation by the caliph al-Mansur to Saddam Hussein.
Britain: A Genetic Journey
Population genetics and the study of ancestral DNA are beginning to reveal the historical information hidden inside our own bodies. Moffat has produced a revolutionary new history of Britain, eschewing the deeds of monarchs and politicians in favour of the remarkable stories that genetics can tell about the origins of our lineages and the travels of our forebears around the world. (Previously sold in Postscript as a hardback edition titled The British: A Genetic Journey.)
In the course of its long existence Iraq has been both the cradle of civilizations and a crucible of war. This history charts the fortunes of the land and its peoples from the ancient empires of Babylon and Assyria, through the cultural and scientific achievements of medieval Islam, to the colonial era, the discovery of oil, the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and the US-led invasion of 2003. The narrative concludes with an assessment of the country’s prospects.
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.