Catherine of Aragon
The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII
The woman Henry VIII 'divorced' is much overshadowed by Anne Boleyn, the woman who took her place, yet Catherine of Aragon was Henry's wife for 22 years. As queen regent she defeated the Scots at Flodden in his absence and she fought tenaciously against the divorce: the king had never met a tougher opponent on or off the battlefield. This compelling biography brings Catherine to the fore, stressing her intensity of character and approaching her life through her Spanish family as well as her Tudor in-laws. Slightly off-mint.
The Dark Defile
Britain's Catastrophic Invasion of Afghanistan, 1838–1842
In 1839, convinced that Russia posed a threat to its empire in India, Britain sent a powerful army into Afghanistan to install a puppet ruler. Within four years, it had been utterly defeated. Skilfully establishing the events leading up to the invasion, this compelling narrative history draws on diaries and letters to recreate the tragic events of the First Afghan War, which turned out to be the opening salvo in the Anglo-Russian rivalry known as the 'Great Game'.