The Savage Shore
Extraordinary Stories of Survival and Tragedy from the Early Voyages of Discovery
Several months after the Dutch yacht Gilt Dragon set sail for the East Indies, it foundered off the coast of ‘Southland’. The ship broke up, but 73 survivors made it ashore, a few of whom would sail 2,500 miles in a shuyt to fetch help. This was 1653, over a century before Cook’s ‘discovery’ of Australia. These maritime tales present many of the early and often fabled encounters with Australia, its perilous coastline and indigenous population.
The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles
Bernard Cornwell is renowned for his historical fiction, particularly the Sharpe series set in the Napoleonic Wars. In this book he combines those storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history of the days leading up to Waterloo and the battle itself. Cornwell's aim is to give an impression of what it was like to be on the field on 18 June 1815, and he agrees with Wellington's judgment: Waterloo – no matter how many accounts you read – 'is a cliffhanger'.
Gladstone, Gordon and the Sudan Wars
The Battle over Imperial Intervention in the Victorian Age
General Gordon's death in Khartoum in January 1885 was a crucial episode in British history and one that has remained controversial. Gordon has been usually depicted as the hero of the story, while Gladstone is often portrayed as the villain, responsible for a 'policy of drift' in Sudan. Nicoll's radical reappraisal, based on previously unpublished materials, refutes the conventional image of both men and offers insight into British policy in Africa and the influence of the press and public opinion.
How Australia Became British
Empire and the China Trade
The discovery of the Eastern Passage to China in the mid-18th century, which meant that ships no longer had to wait for the monsoon winds, sparked fierce competition for trade between the warring nations of Britain and France. This revealing study explains how the need to safeguard its sea-lanes to China and India drove Britain to explore the great Australian landmass – glimpsed by the Dutchman Abel Tasman in the previous century – and erect a 'ring fence' around it.
Mutiny on the Globe
The Fatal Voyage of Samuel Comstock
Sailing between Hawaii and Tahiti in 1824, the captain and officers of the Nantucket whaler Globe were hacked to pieces and dumped overboard by their crew, led by the ruthless, 21-year-old Samuel Comstock. The events that followed - told in full for the first time in this enthralling, meticulously researched account - form an epic to rival the mutiny on the Bounty as Comstock's megalomaniac ambition to set up his own tropical kingdom led him and his crewmates to disaster.
The Burning of Washington
The British Invasion of 1814
In 1814, British troops marched into Washington DC, torched the White House and Capitol, and forced President Hamilton to flee. This compelling history traces the background, the action and the aftermath of a conflict that would shape the fledgling USA.
Hey for Old Robin!
The Campaigns and Armies of the Earl of Essex During the First Civil War, 1642–44
After failing to strike any decisive blow against the Royalists, Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, who commanded the first Parliamentarian army against King Charles I, never achieved military distinction. This account of Essex’s campaigns, which includes analysis of the battles of Edgehill, Lostwithiel and Newbury, reappraises the man and his reputation in the light of his military accomplishments, his strategic influence over the battles, and his loyalty to his men.