Rebellion in the Reign of Charles II
Despite the positive aspects of Charles II’s reign, with its freedom and flourishing of science and the arts, this study shows how ‘the euphoria of the Restoration soon evaporated as the deep problems, divisions and distrust of the past re-emerged’. With the insight of a former government intelligence officer, Whitehead describes the numerous plots, uprisings and subversive activities of the period, and the covert operations and general dirty tricks that enabled the king to overcome opposition and intrigue.
The Savage Shore
Extraordinary Stories of Survival and Tragedy from the Early Voyages of Discovery
Several months after the Dutch yacht Gilt Dragon set sail for the East Indies, it foundered off the coast of ‘Southland’. The ship broke up, but 73 survivors made it ashore, a few of whom would sail 2,500 miles in a shuyt to fetch help. This was 1653, over a century before Cook’s ‘discovery’ of Australia. These maritime tales present many of the early and often fabled encounters with Australia, its perilous coastline and indigenous population.
Life in the Georgian Court
When Queen Anne died in 1714, George, Elector of Hanover, acceded to the British throne. Organized in four main acts – Childhood, Marriage, Scandal and Death – rather than as a comprehensive history, this is a collection of true stories from the Georgian era. Romantic, tragic, eccentric and sometimes gory, the tales are engagingly told, revealing the real people beneath the wigs and pomp of the period, and complemented by a useful timeline and a section of black-and-white portraits.
The Americas in the Age of Revolution
Lester D Langley presents a comparative history of three revolutions – the American Revolution in 1776, the slave revolt in the French colony of Saint Dominique (that became Haiti) and the long Spanish-American struggle for independence – and offers ‘a portrait of hemispherical political culture in an epoch spanning three wars in the Americas, each of which left a powerful legacy for the new states that took form in their aftermath’.
Sex, Money & Personal Character in Eighteenth-Century British Politics
How and why did the Anglo-American world become so obsessed with the private lives and public character of its political leaders? Marilyn Morris finds answers in 18th-century Britain, when a long tradition of court intrigue and gossip spread into a broader and more public political arena with the growth of political parties, extra-parliamentary political activities and a partisan print culture. Her study highlights the contradictions, self-deceptions and inconsistencies inherent in personalized politics.
Great crowds attended public services and ceremonies following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on 15 April 1865; this study explores personal as opposed to public responses to the president’s death. Using letters, diaries and other contemporary records of people’s reactions and sentiments rather than memoirs written with hindsight, the book gives a human dimension to this crucial event in American history.
The Great Mirror of Folly
Finance, Culture, and the Crash of 1720
Inspired by the world’s first major stock-market crash, the South Sea and Mississippi Bubbles, Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid (‘The Great Mirror of Folly’) was published in Amsterdam in late 1720. The book was a compilation of written and visual documents that had circulated during the ‘bubble’. In the present volume, 16 illustrated essays discuss aspects of the Tafereel and the light it sheds on finance and human folly; while a section of plates reproduces 69 of its original pages.
Against War and Empire
Geneva, Britain, and France in the Eighteenth Century
As Britain and France became more powerful during the 18th century, small states such as Geneva could no longer stand militarily against these commercial monarchies; and Genevans were wary of being drawn into a corrupt world dominated by the unprincipled pursuit of wealth. Here, Professor Whatmore presents an intellectual history of republicans who engaged with the ideas of Rousseau, Voltaire and Bentham as they strove to keep Geneva at peace and independent.
Gladstone, Gordon and the Sudan Wars
The Battle over Imperial Intervention in the Victorian Age
General Gordon's death in Khartoum in January 1885 was a crucial episode in British history and one that has remained controversial. Gordon has been usually depicted as the hero of the story, while Gladstone is often portrayed as the villain, responsible for a 'policy of drift' in Sudan. Nicoll's radical reappraisal, based on previously unpublished materials, refutes the conventional image of both men and offers insight into British policy in Africa and the influence of the press and public opinion.
A Plague of Informers
Conspiracy and Political Trust in William III's England
Stories of the plots, sham plots, and the citizen informers who discovered – or fabricated – them are at the heart of this compelling study of the decade following the1688 Revolution. Weil examines how the 'discoveries' of plots, debates about their authenticity, and controversies about how the government dealt with them affected the 'securing of their Majesties' Persons and Government' – national security in modern parlance – and public perception of the Williamite regime.
An Alternative History of Britain
Among the crucial moments in Tudor history that could have had very different outcomes with far-reaching consequences, Venning focuses on Henry VIII's near-fatal tiltyard accident in 1536 and Edward VI's early death in 1553, and he poses the question: if the Spanish Armada had landed successfully – what then?
The English Civil War
An Alternative History of Britain
With hindsight, the Parliamentarian victory over the Royalists in the English Civil War may seem inevitable, but it was never a foregone conclusion. Venning examines the turning points at which things might have gone differently – the countdown to war between December 1641 and the spring of 1642; Edgehill; the creation of the New Model Army in 1644; and the 1645 campaign.
Conflict in Early Modern England
Described by one reviewer as 'wonderfully mischievous', this study argues against the view that people in early modern England assumed patriarchy to be natural and necessary, and that the 'public man', 'private woman' distinction explained the political subordination of women. Showing how conflict rather than patriarchal accord was pervasive in households as husbands, wives and servants struggled for authority, Herzog conjures up 'a social world full of ornery, funny, sickening, and lethal controversies about gender, misogyny, public and private'.
Post-War Crime and Violence in Britain, 1748–53
When the War of Austrian Succession ended in 1748, rapid demobilization left thousands of soldiers and sailors unemployed, leading to a rise in crime, drinking and rioting on the streets of London. Rogers delves into the interlocking stories of this Hogarthian world; he investigates the reasons for the resulting moral panic and the surprisingly modern varieties of surveillance and social reform which were implemented to combat the perceived threat to 'good order and Government'.
The Grand Old Duke of York
A Life of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, 1763–1827
Although commander-in-chief of the British army during the Napoleonic Wars and a reformer responsible for transforming the British military, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany is remembered now as the bungling ‘Grand Old Duke’ of the nursery rhyme. This biography shows him to be far from incompetent; it offers a new assessment of Prince Frederick’s distinguished career as a general and administrator, a full account of his scandalous private life – and the origins of that nursery rhyme.
Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom
Naval Campaigns that Shaped the Modern World 1788–1851
In this follow-up to his much-acclaimed Maritime Supremacy, Padfield continues to trace the role of naval power in world history, here analysing the factors that led Britain to global dominance in the 19th century.
Secret Histories of Britain's Rebels and Revolutionaries
Alarmed by the French Revolution, the rulers of Georgian Britain established a network of spies and informers to infiltrate and monitor radical groups at home. Drawing on official records and contemporary accounts, this compelling history probes the shadowy world of government agents pitted against Irish rebels, Luddites, the Pentrick uprising of 1817 and the 1820 plot to murder the cabinet. In vivid prose, the book recreates a climate of fear and repression, in which even peaceful reformers risked arrest.
An Infamous Mistress
The Life, Loves and Family of the Celebrated Grace Dalrymple Elliott
Divorced wife, scandalous mistress, prisoner during the French Revolution and reputed mother of the Prince of Wales’s child, Grace Dalrymple Elliott had little choice but to live off her wits and her beauty. This biography not only charts her adventures in London and Paris, buts sets her swashbuckling life against the social history of the Georgian era, and explores her far-flung family connections that extended to France, America, India and Africa.
What Regency Women Did for Us
Women in early 19th-century England had few rights and little access to education. This volume tells the stories of twelve women who overcame these obstacles to achieve success in business, science and the arts. It profiles the lives and careers of Jane Austen and her contemporaries including Madame Tussaud, the fossil hunter Mary Anning and the astronomer Caroline Herschel, exploring their contacts, the society they lived in, and their lasting influence on the world.