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.
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.
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 Nicoll's radical reappraisal, based on previously unpublished materials, refutes the conventional image of both men and offers insight into British policy in Africa and the influence of the press and public opinion.
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.
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.
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.
In Bed with the Georgians
Sex, Scandal and Satire in the 18th Century
The sex trade flourished openly and profitably in Georgian England, particularly in the area around London’s Covent Garden. This illustrated history considers how the ‘oldest profession’ permeated all classes – from the courtesans who plied their trade within the very highest echelons of society right down to the common prostitutes who walked the streets – and examines how the scene was vividly portrayed by the letter writers, journalists, satirists and caricaturists of the time.
Bombers, Rioters and Police Killers
Violent Crime and Disorder in Victorian Britain
Simon Webb examines a dark aspect of life in Victorian Britain which is less well-known than the poisoners and serial killers: rioting and disorder, mob violence and terrorism. Among the topics covered are the Clerkenwell Outrage, when explosives detonated in the street killed 15 people and injured 120; the West End riots on Black Monday and Bloody Sunday; and the Aldersgate Underground bombing in 1897.