The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles
'A damn close-run thing.' The Duke of Wellington, 18 June 1815Bernard 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'.
The Seasick Admiral
Nelson and the Health of the Navy
Nelson never enjoyed robust health, and was even seasick when he first set sail. As this book demonstrates, it was his experience of illness and the serious injuries he suffered that made him uniquely aware of the importance of health and fitness to the Navy, using his fame and influence to improve the welfare of his men through better diet, shipboard hygiene, more modern surgical practices and greater attention to convalescence and aftercare.
Plague, War, and Hellfire
The year 1666 saw England struck by numerous catastrophes, including a devastating outbreak of plague, the Great Fire of London and an intensification of the second Anglo-Dutch War. This colourful account of the fateful year (and events leading up to it) is peopled by actors, courtiers, politicians and scientists, including Samuel Pepys, Robert Hooke and Nell Gwynn, and evokes a nation in the grip of great artistic, social and scientific change.
Shadows of Revolution
Reflections on France, Past and Present
Over the past two centuries, France has experimented with virtually every form of government. This collection of essays and reviews by one of America’s foremost observers of France reflects on the Enlightenment and the Revolution, Robespierre and Napoleon, the Vichy regime and the situation of French Jews, the Arab Spring and the terrorist attacks of 2015. Lively, informed, wide-ranging and highly readable, the book offers a unique insight into ‘the most intense political laboratory the world has ever known’.
Mary Queen of Scots
‘No man saw her without love,’ wrote a contemporary French chronicler, ‘or will read her story without pity.’ More than four centuries after her death, Mary, Queen of Scots remains a compelling figure. This book recreates her dramatic life and the courtly, intrigue-ridden world in which she lived. Its 194 colour illustrations include portraits, sketches and photographs of the castles and palaces in England, Scotland and France where her tragic story was played out. Off-mint.
The King and the Catholics
The Fight for Rights: 1829
In 1780 the anti-Papist Gordon riots left 1,000 dead and London in flames; half a century later, Parliament passed the Catholic Emancipation Act. This narrative history charts the struggles that brought about that conclusion. It profiles the key players, including George III (a staunch opponent of emancipation), the political rivals Wellington and Peel, and the Irish campaigner Daniel O’Connell, and examines the conflict between the right to practise one’s religion and allegiance to the state.
Britain in 1846
Focusing on one critical year, this study identifies the developments that paved the way for the prosperity of Victorian Britain. It demonstrates how, amid widespread poverty and disease, industry flourished and railways spread across the land, bringing millions from the countryside to the cities, while Robert Peel’s abolition of the Corn Laws split the Tory party and ushered in an era of free trade.
Life in the Georgian Court
When Queen Anne died in 1714, George, Elector of Hanover, acceded to the British throne. Organized in four main acts – Childhood, Marriage, Scandal and Death – rather than as a comprehensive history, this is a collection of true stories from the Georgian era. Romantic, tragic, eccentric and sometimes gory, the tales are engagingly told, revealing the real people beneath the wigs and pomp of the period, and complemented by a useful timeline and a section of black-and-white portraits.
Napoleon's Grand British Holiday
The Remarkable Story of Bonaparte and His Time on the South Devon Coast
Captured after Waterloo, Napoleon was held aboard HMS Bellerophon off the Devon coast. This book records the forgotten episode in which he became a magnet for celebrity seekers who would row out to catch a glimpse of the captive emperor as he paced the deck.
Ecology and Enclosure
The Effect of Enclosure on Society, Farming and the Environment in South Cambridgeshire, 1798–1850
South Cambridgeshire has some of the richest arable land in England and has been cultivated for millennia. By 1800, industrialization and massive population growth had resulted in an enormous increase in the demand for food, which in turn led to enclosure. This book presents a study of social and agricultural life in South Cambridgeshire before enclosure, then describes the process of enclosure and its effects on society, farming and the environment in the region between 1798 and 1850.
The Great Moghuls
A Brief History
Bamber Gascoigne's classic book is a history of India during the 16th and 17th centuries, when the country was ruled by an extraordinarily talented dynasty of emperors. With untold wealth and almost limitless power, they were known to European travellers as the 'Great Moghuls'. First published as The Great Moghuls in 1971.
The News from Waterloo
The Race to Tell Britain of Wellington's Victory
It took three days for the outcome of the battle of Waterloo to reach London. Described by Sir Tony Robinson as 'a fascinating eye-opener', this book draws on untapped records to reveal the story of how the momentous news was brought from the battlefield via feverish horseback journeys, a Channel crossing delayed by falling tides and a flat calm, and the final dash by coach-and-four from the Kent coast to a grand soirée in St James's Square.
The Trials of the King of Hampshire
Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England
Every family has its skeletons, but in 1823 the aristocratic Wallops were about to have theirs laid bare to the world. This biography tells the dramatic story of the Third Earl of Portsmouth. Wealthy and well-connected, a friend of Byron and Jane Austen, he was widely considered a harmless eccentric until – amid accusations of blackmail, abduction and sodomy – his own family set out to have him declared insane in a trial that scandalized the nation.
An Empire on the Edge
How Britain Came to Fight America
From a British perspective, this book gives a fresh account of the Boston Tea Party and the origins of the American Revolution, showing how a lethal blend of politics, personalities and economics led to war. Focusing on the last three years of deepening anger on both sides before the outbreak of violent rebellion, Bunker sheds new light on the origins of the Tea Party, the roles of leading figures, and the failings of the government in London. Off-mint and American-cut pages.
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.
Paris, London and New York in the Age of Revolution
This history compares events in Paris, New York and London from 1765 to 1795, when the first two were convulsed by revolution, and the third came close. Drawing on archives, letters and travelogues, the book evokes a world in which aristocrats, lawyers, artisans and society hostesses passionately debated the issues of liberty, justice and the social order, and assesses how those momentous years have shaped the political and physical fabric of all three cities to this day.
Imperial Boundary Making
The Diary of Captain Kelly and the Sudan-Uganda Boundary Commission of 1913
Written during the Sudan-Uganda Boundary Commission’s 1913 expedition by its leader, Harry Kelly, this day-by-day account gives rare insights into how imperial boundaries were drawn, and into the indigenous peoples encountered.
Gibraltar in the Age of Napoleon
After a long history as a site of strategic importance, Gibraltar, the lone British stronghold in the Mediterranean, played a vital role in the Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). This history examines how the military and naval offensive potential of the hitherto defensive fortress was realized; the part Gibraltar played as the site of British and Spanish negotiations during the Peninsular War; and how its garrison and dockyard contributed to Nelson’s victories in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar.
The Amistad Rebellion
An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom
On 28 June 1893 the Spanish slave schooner Amistad set sail from Havana to deliver its human cargo. Four days later, its captives escaped and killed the captain, but were captured by the US Navy and imprisoned in Connecticut. Using newly discovered evidence, this powerful account reclaims the rebellion, which inspired Steven Spielberg’s film, for its instigators, the African rebels whose struggle for justice went all the way to the Supreme Court and changed the course of history.