Castlereagh, Canning and Deadly Cabinet Rivalry
In 1809, at the height of the struggle against Napoleon, Britain's Secretary of State for War, Lord Castlereagh, challenged the Foreign Secretary, George Canning, to a duel. The two men met on Putney Heath, and Canning was wounded in the thigh. Drawing on previously overlooked private papers, this detailed history examines the poisonous rivalry that led two eminent statesmen to risk their lives in the midst of a national emergency, and traces the far-reaching consequences of this bizarre incident.
The Grand Turk
Sultan Mehmet II – Conqueror of Constantinople, Master of an Empire and Lord of Two Seas
Aged just 21 when he conquered Constantinople in 1453, Mehmet II was known to Europe as a brutal tyrant, whose advancing Ottoman empire, reaching across Asia Minor to Hungary and Italy, led three Popes to call for Crusades. He was 'the present Terrour of the World', but as John Freely’s biography reveals, Mehmet’s court was filled with poets, astronomers, scholars and artists, and his military conquests brought Greco-Islamic science to the West at the dawn of the Renaissance. Slightly off-mint.