On 25 August 1833, the chartered transport Amphitrite set sail from London, its 16 crew, 100 female prisoners and their children bound for an Australian convict colony. Days later, and before a crowd of helpless onlookers, the ship would break up off Boulogne, drowning all but three on board. This erudite account of the tragedy also examines the Admiralty’s investigation of the captain who, inexplicably, refused help offered from the shore.
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 Nicoll's radical reappraisal, based on previously unpublished materials, refutes the conventional image of both men and offers insight into British policy in Africa and the influence of the press and public opinion.
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.