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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Life and Rule of England's Nero
In this compelling study of Henry VIII, the Tudor historian John Matusiak takes a fresh approach to the king’s reign, concentrating on Henry’s qualities – or lack of – as a ruler, rather than the usual business of his six wives, to paint a colourful and unforgiving portrait of a man wholly unfit for power.
The King's Revenge
Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History
After the beheading of his father Charles I in 1649, the 19-year-old Prince of Wales vowed to seek revenge and, from exile, instigated the biggest manhunt in British history. The search lasted over 30 years, with show trials and assassination squads scouring the country for the men who dared to sit in judgement of King Charles. Following the hunt in this fast-paced historical narrative, the authors tell an engrossing tale of intrigue, espionage, ambition and betrayal.
Happy and Glorious
The Revolution of 1688
Less than 30 years after Charles II was restored to the throne, his brother James II was forced to make way for his son-in-law, William of Orange. Describing momentous days that shaped the nation's future, this narrative history tells of a stubborn and bigoted king at odds with his subjects, of religious conflict and political intrigue, and shows how the Revolution of 1688 created a constitutional monarchy and paved the way for modern parliamentary democracy.
Bess of Hardwick
First Lady of Chatsworth, 1527–1608
Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (1527–1608) struck some as rapacious and social-climbing, but is nowadays seen as an astonishingly shrewd and accomplished woman who successfully managed four husbands and four monarchs in a particularly complex and dangerous era. Mary Lovell's biography charts every aspect of Bess's long life, including her time as minder of Mary, Queen of Scots for Elizabeth I and the building of Chatsworth, Hardwick and Oldcotes, which still stand as testimony of a remarkable Tudor figure.
The Iron Men
The Workers Who Created the New Iron Age
By the early 19th century a second Iron Age had begun, with ships, bridges, trains and industrial machinery being constructed from the newly popular metal. Burton explains the innovations in manufacturing processes that enabled so many advances in technologies using iron and steel, but also focuses on the human cost of this progress, which brought new risks of deadly accident for the workers and ruined the lungs of Sheffield’s knife grinders.
The First Three Centuries
The city founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and variously known as Sankt Peterburg, Petrograd and Leningrad has been home to some of Russia's greatest cultural figures, including Pushkin, Tchaikovsky and Nijinsky. Well known too for its physical appearance, with baroque palaces, bridges and promenades, the city nonetheless suffered depredations in the 1905 Revolution and the Nazi siege. Arthur George, who lived in St Petersburg for several years, charts the high and low points of this most European of Russian cities. Off-mint.
Masters and Servants in Tudor England
Life in Tudor England was ordered in a very strict social hierarchy, and the divisions between the classes were firmly maintained: it was understood that everyone, apart from the monarch, served someone, and service was valued rather than denigrated. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, Tudor expert Alison Sim investigates the role of service at every level of society, and provides an informative and entertaining account of the lives of the people who kept the wheels of daily life turning.