The Great Conspiracy
Britain's Secret War Against Revolutionary France 1794–1805
Behind the land battles and naval engagements of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain and France fought another, hidden conflict. Drawing on contemporary letters, journals and police reports, this history describes the political intrigue, secret agents, informers, and state-sponsored murders that were part of the attempt to overthrow the French Republic. Its cast includes the forgotten fathers of British intelligence, William Wickham and Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, and the French general turned British agent, Charles Pichegru.
The Pursuit of Power
This volume of the Penguin History of Europe explores the huge cultural, political and technological changes of an era in which cities expanded massively, countries were created, and the speed of long-distance communication was accelerated. Describing the ways in which the continent developed and interacted with the rest of the world, Richard Evans provides a comprehensive survey of Europe during the period between the Battle of Waterloo and the First World War.
Anna, Duchess of Cleves
The King's 'Beloved Sister'
Born Anna von der Mark, Duchess of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, in 1515, Anna of Cleves married Henry VIII and became Queen Consort of England in 1540. British history remembers her as the ‘Flanders Mare’: looking from a German perspective, this biography reveals a very different figure. Heather Darsie describes Anna’s life in Cleves before leaving for England; examines her marriage to Henry, her role as stepmother to his two daughters, and her status as ‘political refugee’ after the divorce.
Crown of Blood
The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
In 1553, 17-year-old Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England to prevent the accession of Henry VIII’s Catholic daughter Mary. Thirteen days later she was imprisoned in the Tower, and in February 1554 she was beheaded. This narrative history draws on previously overlooked sources to create a vivid and engaging portrait of an intelligent, charismatic and deeply religious girl caught up in the power politics of her age, whose courage shone through her final, harrowing ordeal.
The House of the Dead
Siberian Exile Under the Tsars
Between the coronation of Alexander I in 1801 and Nicholas II’s abdication in 1917, tsarist Russia banished over a million people to the misery of Siberian exile. Political prisoners and common criminals were sent to mine Siberia’s natural resources and settle remote regions while improving themselves through self-reliance and hardship; but penal colonization bred, rather than eliminated, revolutionary politics. Drawing on archives across Russia, Beer’s study recovers the experiences of exiles and describes Russia’s struggle to govern its ‘prison empire’. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Nelson's Lost Jewel
The Extraordinary Story of the Lost Diamond Chelengk
After the Battle of the Nile in 1798, Sultan Selim III presented Horatio Nelson with a chelengk – a diamond-studded turban ornament, its central star rotated by clockwork. Worn in the admiral's hat, it became his emblem. This book tells the story of its creation, and how it passed down through the family to be exhibited at the Royal Maritime Museum in Greenwich, where it was stolen in a 1951 burglary and never seen again.
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 compulsively written, meticulously researched 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.
A Gentleman's Guide to Duelling
Vincentio Saviolo's 'Of Honour and Honourable Quarrels'
Annotated woodcuts of historical duels and methodical swordplay illustrate this classic guide to resolving a gentlemen’s disagreement in Elizabethan England. Honour, pride and shame were at the heart of most duels, and Italian fencing master Vincentio Saviolo’s prose, which has been subtly updated for the modern reader, suggests ways for both challenger and defender to navigate the labyrinth of etiquette without resort to the rapier, his favoured weapon of combat.
The King's City
London Under Charles II
After years of civil war, the restoration of Charles II in 1660 heralded the rebirth of London. In this account of the capital and its prominent figures such as Wren, Newton, Halley and Pepys, Don Jordan shows how the city recovered rapidly from plague and fire to become the crucible of commerce, science and culture in which modern Britain was forged.
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.
How to Be a Tudor
A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life
Historians trawl through documentary records to reveal how people lived in the past, but few actually experience it first-hand. Ruth Goodman, presenter of the BBC TV series Tudor Monastery Farm, has done just that, eating, sleeping, working, dressing and dancing like a Tudor. Drawing on these adventures with characteristic wit and humour, she describes a day in the life of an ordinary person, from dawn to dusk, during one of the most vibrant periods of English history.
La Reine Blanche
Mary Tudor, A Life in Letters
The youngest surviving daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Mary Tudor was married to the French king Louis XII, 34 years her senior, when she was just 18. Drawing on state papers and letters by Mary and others, this sympathetic biography tells how, when she found herself a widow just three months later, the intelligent, strong-willed young woman shaped her own destiny, married for love, and defied her overbearing brother, Henry VIII.
Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and the Pilgrimage of Grace
Autumn 1536: Henry VIII has broken with Rome and is eyeing the wealth of the monasteries. In the north of England, 30,000 men loyal to the Catholic Church take arms against him in the uprising known as the Pilgrimage of Grace. Using the rebels' own testimony, this narrative history examines their motives and beliefs, charts the course of the ill-fated insurrection, and describes the rhetoric, rewards and retribution employed by Henry's minister Thomas Cromwell to thwart them.
News and Rumour in Jacobean England
Information, Court Politics and Diplomacy, 1618–25
David Coast's study examines how political news was concealed, manipulated and distorted in late Jacobean England, and how the flow of information to and from the king was managed by his Secretaries of State and diplomats.
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.
An Elizabethan Assassin
Theodore Paleologus: Seducer, Spy and Killer
John Hall explores the myths and controversies surrounding Italian nobleman Theodore Paleologus, heir apparent to the throne of Byzantium, who in 1597 arrived in England to murder a traitorous compatriot, then remained in the pay of the Earl of Lincoln to sow misery among the English aristocracy until his death in 1636. The biography also scrutinizes Paleologus’s offspring, who fought one another in the English Civil War, and backs their father’s long-dismissed claim to the imperial throne.
The Spanish Armada
In a compelling, blow-by-blow narrative, Hutchinson follows the 125 ships sent by Philip II of Spain to invade Protestant England, and the response of Elizabeth I's navy. He describes the skirmishes in the Channel, actions at Calais and Gravelines, and the Armada's subsequent destruction on the Irish coast, but also explores less well-known aspects of the failed invasion – the lack of enthusiasm for the fight within England and the intense intelligence war. The appendices include orders of battle for both fleets.
Bringers of War
The Portuguese in Africa during the Age of Gunpowder and Sail
Long before steamships and machine-tooled artillery, the Portuguese established an empire in Africa, capturing trading towns, seizing slaves and plundering mineral riches. This history describes how, between the 15th and the late 18th centuries, they fought their ancient Muslim foes, overthrew African kingdoms and resisted Dutch, Omani and Ottoman rivals in a quest for wealth and power as ruthless as the Spanish conquests in the Americas.
The Tudors in 100 Objects
Beginning with a silver-gilt boar, the emblem of Richard III, retrieved from the site of the Battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor’s victory, John Matusiak sets himself the task of ‘recreating Tudor England through the medium of 100 objects’. Arranged by theme, and unravelling the stories behind objects as diverse as a birthing chair, a velvet sun mask, a chimney and an executioner’s axe, the book is a fascinating exploration of the social and material world of Tudor times.
England's Lost Colony
In the 1650s, a group of Cavaliers fled Cromwell’s England for the lush coast of Surinam. Here, they established a colony named after its founder, Sir Thomas Willoughby. This absorbing book explores the untold story of the colony’s rise and fall. The rich cast of characters includes Willoughby himself, the playwright Aphra Behn, the indigenous people and their rulers, and the planters and mercenaries who would turn this utopia into a hell of terror and slavery.
Rebellion in the Reign of Charles II
Despite the positive aspects of Charles II’s reign, with its freedom and flourishing of science and the arts, this study shows how ‘the euphoria of the Restoration soon evaporated as the deep problems, divisions and distrust of the past re-emerged’. With the insight of a former government intelligence officer, Whitehead describes the numerous plots, uprisings and subversive activities of the period, and the covert operations and general dirty tricks that enabled the king to overcome opposition and intrigue.
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 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.
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 Maid and the Queen
The Secret History of Joan of Arc and Yolande of Aragon
The story of Joan of Arc is well known: hearing voices at the age of 13, she was inspired to lead French resistance to English domination, and was then captured and subjected to trial by inquisition. But did Joan's strength and power derive only from the angels? Goldstone's revisionist account argues that the restoration of France's greatness came about through the intertwined lives of Joan and her forgotten mentor, Yolande of Aragon, 'perhaps the most astute politician of her age'.
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.
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.
Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century
Founded in 1753 as the world’s first public museum, the British Museum epitomized the Age of Enlightenment. This authoritative study charts the growth of its collections, and illustrates many of its treasures, from antiquities, painting and sculpture to scientific instruments and fossils.
The Sultan and the Queen
The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam
Excommunicated in 1570, Queen Elizabeth I found the key markets of Catholic Europe closed to English merchants; instead, she reached out to the Shah of Iran, the King of Morocco and the Ottoman Sultan. This gripping history reveals how English merchants, sailors and diplomats plied their trade with the Muslim world, creating a fashion for the Orient in London that was reflected in the plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
The Life and Works of Robert Baillie (1602–1662)
Politics, Religion and Record-Keeping in the British Civil Wars
The letters of the Glaswegian minister Robert Baillie (1620–1662) are a common source for the history of Scotland during the violent years 1637–1660. This first biography of Baillie establishes his significance as a polemicist, theologian and contemporary historian.
Tudor Diplomacy and The Translation of Power
In a comparative analysis of translations and adaptations which Sir Thomas Wyatt composed when he was in embassy or on other diplomatic missions in Italy, France, Spain and Jerusalem, Rossiter explores how far Reformation politics and diplomacy informed his work.
How Fat Was Henry VIII?
And Other Questions on Royal History
Beginning with a section of 'Royal Conundrums' such as the nature of Queen Victoria's relationship with John Brown and whether James II's baby son was a changeling, Raymond Lamont-Brown indulges our curiosity about all things royal with very thorough answers. Other sections include Pretenders and Usurpers; Murders, Plots and Assassinations; Palaces, Castles and Love Nests; and finally, Rumour and Scandal - wherein we learn which monarch topped the list for siring royal bastards.
World Without End
Spain, Philip II, and the First Global Empire
The vast Spanish empire of the 16th century changed the face of the globe forever, but the dramatic human story behind it has never been fully told. In this third volume of his epic history, Hugh Thomas chronicles the lives, loves and conflicts of the men and women who carved up the Americas: King Philip II, the ennobled descendants of the conquistadors, the wealthy landowners, the squabbling priests… and the terrible price paid for their ambition by the indigenous peoples. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Seventeenth Century Tokens of the British Isles and Their Values
First published in 1986 and recently reprinted, this catalogue lists all known major types of the 17th-century series of token coinage issued in the British Isles between 1648 and 1679. The tokens were round, or sometimes octagonal or heart shaped, and mostly struck in copper or brass in denominations of farthings and half pennies. They offer an insight into life and trade, personal circumstances and local history in the third quarter of the 17th century.
The Uncrowned Queen
Lady Arbella Stuart, cousin to both Elizabeth I and James VI of Scotland, was a woman whose parents' marriage had been orchestrated to provide an heir to the English throne. Raised by her grandmother, Bess of Hardwick, Arbella lived in the shadow and at the mercy of Elizabeth. This study focuses on her lineage, life and legacy, revealing a well-educated woman, desperate to control her own destiny, but ultimately powerless against the politics and intrigue of the Tudor court.
Henry VIII, James IV and the Battle for Renaissance Britain
The decisive battle at Flodden Field in 1513 marked the climax of the personal and political tension between England’s Henry VIII and his brother-in-law James IV of Scotland. This book traces the origins and escalation of their rivalry, with analysis of the political and military manoeuvres leading up to Flodden. It ends with an account of the battle itself, which saw the first artillery exchange on a British battlefield, and an assessment of James’s level of responsibility for Scotland’s defeat.
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 colour photographs of the castles and palaces in England, Scotland and France where her tragic story was played out. Off-mint.
Birth, Marriage, Death and Taxes
Lyme Regis Censuses 1695–1703
In 1695, the short-lived Marriage Duty Act imposed a tax on births, marriages and burials, as well as an annual charge on bachelors over the age of 25 and childless widowers. The tax assessment relied on censuses and seven of these documents have survived for Lyme Regis. Transcribed in this volume, with a substantial introduction, the censuses give a valuable insight into the life and social structure of the town between 1695 and 1703.
The King's Pearl
Henry VIII and His Daughter Mary
Against the traditional image of ‘Bloody Mary’ promoted by Protestant propaganda, and against the more recent portrayals of Mary Tudor as a pitiable and tragic figure, this study presents Mary as her father’s daughter, a strong-willed risk-taker. The book examines her life during the reign of Henry VIII and her complex and dramatic relationship with her father, and reveals England’s first queen regnant as a gambler who ‘staked everything – life, freedom, religion – in a bid for the throne, and won’.
Charles II and His Court
The court of Charles II was the most hedonistic in the history of England. This book charts the king's dalliances from his youthful exile in France, and profiles his mistresses: Barbara Villiers, Louise de Kérouaille and, everyone's favourite, Nell Gwyn. Filled with promiscuous beauties and poxed swaggerers, and packed with intrigue, espionage, illicit liaisons and fierce duels, it draws on a wealth of contemporary letters, diaries, satires and lampoons to bring this decadent world to life.
Sex, Money & Personal Character in Eighteenth-Century British Politics
How and why did the Anglo-American world become so obsessed with the private lives and public character of its political leaders? Marilyn Morris finds answers in 18th-century Britain, when a long tradition of court intrigue and gossip spread into a broader and more public political arena with the growth of political parties, extra-parliamentary political activities and a partisan print culture. Her study highlights the contradictions, self-deceptions and inconsistencies inherent in personalized politics.
Great crowds attended public services and ceremonies following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on 15 April 1865; this study explores personal as opposed to public responses to the president’s death. Using letters, diaries and other contemporary records of people’s reactions and sentiments rather than memoirs written with hindsight, the book gives a human dimension to this crucial event in American history.
Adultery, Heresy, Desire
‘A narrative that balances on the cusp of old and new, equally informed by both’, the story of Anne Boleyn – her courtship, marriage and eventual tragedy – is often told, yet remains something of a mystery. Amy Licence approaches Anne’s life from the long perspective of the ambitious Boleyn family; she examines how, as queen, Anne overreached contemporary ideas about both women and aristocrats, and how she developed the sophisticated tastes and expectations of Renaissance culture, patronage and queenship.
Censorship and Cultural Sensibility
The Regulation of Language in Tudor-Stuart England
Debora Shuger offers a new approach to the history of early modern English censorship. Attempting to recover the system of beliefs and values ‘that made the regulation of language, including state censorship, seem like a good idea’, the study deals with issues that remain relevant today: the rhetoric of ideological extremism, the use of defamation to ruin political opponents, and the grounding of law in theological ethics.