The Reluctant Ambassador
The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Chaloner, Tudor Diplomat
After serving in the household of Thomas Cromwell during the reign of Henry VIII, Thomas Chaloner became a diplomat in France, Scotland, Flanders and finally, in 1559, he was made resident ambassador at the court of Phillip II in Madrid. This biographical study examines Chaloner as a prime example of an educated, but not aristocratic man, a humanist, the translator of Erasmus’ The Praise of Folly, and astute enough to weather the storms of four Tudor monarchs.
Lawson Lies Still in The Thames
The Extraordinary Life of Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson
On 13 December 1659, Vice-Admiral Sir John Lawson (1615–1665) led 22 warships into the Thames and threatened to blockade London in defence of Parliament: in January 1660, Pepys began his diary, ‘Lawson lies still in the river’. This biography charts Lawson’s central role in the English Civil Wars and the Dutch wars, for which he received a gold chain from Oliver Cromwell, but also his vital contribution to the Restoration, rewarded by a pension from Charles II.
Mary Queen of Scots
A Study in Failure
First published in 1988, when it provoked much controversy, Wormald’s classic study of Mary, Queen of Scots ‘as a queen rather than a woman of great misfortune’ differed sharply from the usual emotive responses to Mary’s story. Focusing on her reign, 1561–1567, and her actions as the ruler of a European kingdom, Wormald argues that the queen’s downfall was because of her way of dealing, or failing to deal, with the problems facing her as a Renaissance monarch. Foreword by Anna Groundwater.
Medieval & Renaissance Interiors
In Illuminated Manuscripts
Illuminated manuscripts are an invaluable resource for understanding medieval and early modern life in castles, palaces and ordinary households, both urban and rural. Reproducing 140 little-known illuminations, mostly from the British Library’s collections, this book shows how these miniatures reflect medieval domestic interiors and how they provide information on topics ranging from the security of dwelling places to creature comforts such as heating and lighting, hygiene, beds and bedrooms, and the display of wealth and treasured possessions.
The History of England, Volume IV
The fourth volume of Peter Ackroyd’s epic History of England begins in 1688 with a revolution and ends in 1815 with a victory. Against a vivid backdrop of coffee houses and playhouses, it charts the creation of those pillars of modern Britain, the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange, the rise of newspapers, the birth of the novel, and the technological developments that transformed England from a land of green fields to one of iron and coal.
Plague, Fire, Revolution
Samuel Pepys was born in London in 1633 and died there in 1703, having lived through revolution and Restoration, the Dutch raid, notable scientific advances, plague and fire. All of this he recorded in his diary and letters; a National Maritime Museum exhibition brought it to life in 2015. Presenting 158 objects and paintings, and with essays by contributing scholars, this accompanying volume explores Pepys’s career and varied interests while illuminating aspects of 17th-century London life ranging from surgical procedures to Stuart portraiture.
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.
In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII
This book sheds fresh light on the wives of Henry VIII by exploring the manors, castles and palaces where their lives – and deaths – were played out. Lavishly illustrated with maps, plans and 36 pages of colour plates, it takes the reader from the Alhambra in Spain, childhood home of Katherine of Aragon, to Acton Court, where Henry dined with Anne Boleyn; from Düsseldorf, birthplace of Anne of Cleves, to Hampton Court, scene of Jane Seymour’s triumph and tragedy.