The History of England. Volume III
The 17th century was one of the most turbulent England had seen; at its centre stands the Civil War, the execution of Charles I and the despotic rule of Oliver Cromwell. This third volume of Peter Ackroyd's magisterial national history charts that era of revolution and religious conflict from the accession of James I to the exile of his grandson James II, and from the literary riches of Shakespeare and Milton to the often insecure lives of ordinary men and women. Slightly off-mint.
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.
Art and Power in the Renaissance
Colossal and imposing, the Escorial has played a key role in four centuries of Spanish history, from its commissioning by Philip II in 1563 to its current status as a World Heritage Site. Kamen discusses Philip's motivation, the influence of his travels, the meaning of the building's design and its place in Spanish culture; he explains how this monastery-cum-palace, which was for some a symbol of superstition and oppression, reflects the Spanish imperial preoccupations of art, religion and power.