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 Empire of Necessity
Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World
Greg Grandin's study of slavery begins not on the west coast of Africa but in the South Pacific, off the coast of Chile, where in 1805 Captain Amasa Delano, an anti-slavery American, happened upon a slave rebellion on board the Tryal. The incident, recorded in Delano's memoirs, has inspired many literary works, notably Herman Melville's Benito Cereno; here, it leads to a new account of slavery across continents, and the deceptions inherent in the New World's 'Age of Freedom'.
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 American West
The Invention of a Myth
Americans have chosen to invest one small part of their history, the settlement of the western wilderness, with extraordinary significance. The frontier of the 1800s remains not merely a source of excitement and romance, but of inspiration, providing a set of imperishable core values: individualism, self-reliance and a pristine sense of right and wrong. Murdoch's study analyses the origins of this myth and shows how it was invented, for the most part deliberately, then outgrew the purposes of its inventors.