The Americas in the Age of Revolution
Lester D Langley presents a comparative history of three revolutions, the American Revolution in 1776, the slave revolt in the French colony of Saint Dominique (that became Haiti) and the long Spanish-American struggle for independence, and offers ‘a portrait of hemispherical political culture in an epoch spanning three wars in the Americas, each of which left a powerful legacy for the new states that took form in their aftermath’.
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.
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.
The Conquest of Death
Violence and the Birth of the Modern English State
‘By the seventeenth century the detection, conviction, and punishment of illegitimate lethal violence were firmly and irrevocably tied to the central government.’ Matthew Lockwood’s study shows how definitions of legitimate and illegitimate violence were negotiated in coroners’ courts from the late 15th century and gradually gave government the power to enforce a monopoly of violence – a basic prerequisite of a modern state.
The Murder of King James I
Even before James I’s death in 1625, rumours spread that he was being poisoned by a court favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, who had been cultivating the heir to the throne. Historians have long dismissed the charge, but in a detailed reassessment of contemporary sources the authors trace how this scandalous claim was widely published, believed and debated in Britain and beyond. They also examine how it both reflected and shaped political conflicts that would eventually lead to civil war.