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.
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.
The End of Glory
Illuminating the question of why Napoleon chose to gamble on total victory at the risk of utter defeat, this study focuses on the dramatic two years between the retreat from Moscow in 1812 and the Emperor's abdication in 1814. Price shifts away from the usual emphasis on Waterloo, to the conflicts of 1813; he examines the battle of Leipzig in particular; and explores the reasons why Napoleon rejected the offers of a compromise peace extended to him during that year.
The Children of Henry VIII
Henry VIII fathered four living children, each by a different mother. The relationships between his daughter Mary, the illegitimate son Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, Edward, who died at the age of 15, and Anne Boleyn's daughter Elizabeth were often scarred by jealously, mutual distrust and even hatred. In this study, John Guy draws on a wide range of sources to tell the stories of these four key figures in the dynastic history of England.
Volume 14. First published in 1936.
Covering the forty-four years from the outbreak of the Franco- Prussian war to the eve of the First World War, Ensor surveys a period which saw the 'conversion of English government into a democracy', great advances in education and literacy, the slump in agriculture, the first threat to manufacturing industry from foreign competition, and world-wide imperial expansion. First published in 1936. Book club reprint.
The Life and Times of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot’s life was short in years but long on scandal. Best remembered as the author of some of the most explicit verse in the English language, he had, by the time he died of syphilis at 33, ‘swived more whores more ways than Sodom’s walls’. This comprehensive biography reveals another Rochester: a devoted if inconstant husband and father, a courageous naval officer, and a poet of deep intellectual curiosity.
City of Light, City of Poison
Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris
In 1667 the lawyer Nicolas de La Reynie was appointed by Louis XIV as the first lieutenant general of Paris, with far-reaching powers to combat the city’s filth, violence and organized crime. Based on court transcripts and La Reynie’s extensive notes, this account of his work describes not only projects for installing street lighting and cleaning pavements but also his shocking discovery of a cabal of poisoners, witches and renegade priests whose malign influence reached deep into the Sun King’s court.