Shadows of Revolution
Reflections on France, Past and Present
Over the past two centuries, France has experimented with virtually every form of government. This collection of essays and reviews by one of America’s foremost observers of France reflects on the Enlightenment and the Revolution, Robespierre and Napoleon, the Vichy regime and the situation of French Jews, the Arab Spring and the terrorist attacks of 2015. Lively, informed, wide-ranging and highly readable, the book offers a unique insight into ‘the most intense political laboratory the world has ever known’.
The Tragic Story of Henry VIII's Fifth Queen
Katherine Howard was little more than a child when she married Henry VIII, and just 18 when she was beheaded in the Tower of London. This sympathetic biography sheds new light on the life and death of a kind, intelligent young woman trapped in a web of sexual abuse, family ambition, religious conflict and political intrigue by those in positions of power.
How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette,the Stolen Diamonds
and the Scandal that Shook the French Throne
In September 1785 a trial began in Paris that would divide the country, captivate Europe and set the French monarchy on course for revolution and the tumbrils. The aristocratic Cardinal Louis de Rohan stood accused, not only of stealing a 2,800-carat diamond necklace, but claiming he was acting for the queen in purchasing the jewellery. Beckman reopens the case and examines how this murky, convoluted tale of greed and deceit fits into the narrative of French history.
The Lost Imperialist
Lord Dufferin, Memory and Mythmaking in an Age of Celebrity
'My whole life,' wrote Lord Dufferin in 1894, 'has been a series of surprises.' The Irish landowner became a bestselling travel writer on the publication of his Letters from High Latitudes in 1856, and went on to hold the two most powerful offices in the British Empire, Viceroy of India and Governor-General of Canada. Yet, as this biography – written with access to the family archive – recounts, his lavish lifestyle would lead to his downfall in a notorious financial scandal.
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.