The Golden Reign of Gloriana
David Loades’s concise and richly illustrated study focuses on significant aspects of Elizabeth I’s life and reign and is structured around 20 manuscripts held in the National Archives, including letters to and from Elizabeth, her first speech as monarch, a report of the Armada and the queen’s letter acknowledging James VI of Scotland as her heir.
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.
So High a Blood
The Life of Margaret, Countess of Lennox
The niece of Henry VIII and half-sister of James V of Scotland, Lady Margaret Douglas (1515–1578) held a uniquely influential position in the Tudor Court. As the Protestant Reformation gathered momentum and the royal line of succession remained in doubt, her main objective was to see her descendants rule a united, Catholic Britain. This biography draws on previously unexamined archival sources to tell her complex story.
The Prisoner of Kathmandu
Brian Hodgson in Nepal 1820–43
Posted to Kathmandu as a junior officer, Brian Hodgson found himself in a delicate position as relations between Britain and Nepal became hostile. This biography tells how he learned the Nepalese language, studied Buddhism and natural history, and helped to negotiate peace with the mountain kingdom.
Memories of a Bygone Age
Qajar Persia and Imperial Russia 1853–1902
The son of a provincial merchant, Prince Arfa rose to the heights of Iranian politics. His memoir, written shortly before his death in 1936, records the decline of the Persian Empire, and his time as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Russian court of Nicholas II.
Palestine and Egypt Under the Ottomans
Paintings, Books, Photographs, Maps and Manuscripts
After Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, Western artists and archaeologists flocked to the region to record its wonders. This catalogue of the author's own remarkable collection of art and printed works spans the entire 400 years of Ottoman rule, and includes rare works by David Wilkie, Edward Lear and David Roberts. Featuring hundreds of images in full colour, it offers an unequalled glimpse of topography, villages, buildings and customs, many of which have now disappeared or changed beyond recognition.
Emerson was an unknown schoolteacher of 30 when he first visited England in 1833, but managed to secure introductions to Wordsworth, Coleridge and Carlyle, who became a lifelong friend. When he returned in 1847, he was a celebrated writer. These two visits form the basis of English Traits, a witty, affectionate portrait of a culture he admired profoundly but from which, as an American, he knew he must break free.
The Burning Time
Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and the Protestant Martyrs of London
Between 1529 and 1558, hundreds of the ‘heretics’ who were sentenced to death by burning were burnt at Smithfield, in London, near the Priory of St Bartholomew. This study of the Smithfield martyrs, particularly those who were condemned during the reign of Mary Tudor, also looks at the careers of two men who witnessed the burnings: Richard Rich, the courtier who sent many to their deaths; and John Deane, the priest of St Bartholomew’s chapel, who helped some to survive.
First Contact, Cult of Progress
David Olusoga explores the role of art in the moments of first contact, interaction and conflict between different civilizations, first in the Age of Discovery when Europe’s early imperialists encountered the indigenous peoples and art of other continents: contacts that resulted in mutual curiosity as well as conquest. In Part Two, The Cult of Progress, Olusoga looks at artistic reaction to post-industrial modernization in the 19th and early 20th centuries, ending with Otto Dix’s great triptych, The War (1932).
Catherine of Aragon
An Intimate Life of Henry VIII's True Wife
Catherine of Aragon has been remembered as a tragic figure, the woman Henry VIII divorced for want of a male heir. Amy Licence takes issue with this portrayal: her study presents neither a victim nor a divorcée, but a highly educated Spanish princess and a great humanist queen who, in the early years of her marriage, was Henry's advisor and his warrior. A magnificent portrait of a 'complex, passionate, unbreakable woman', the biography also upholds Catherine's unwavering conviction that her 'divorce' was invalid.
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.
The Fateful Life of Margaret Beaufort Tudor Matriarch
When Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII in 1485, his mother, Margaret Beaufort (1443–1509) became the most powerful woman in England. Margaret was 13 years old when Henry was born shortly after the death of her husband, Edmund Tudor, and in the midst of war. It was an inauspicious beginning, but her ambition, skill and determination won through to found a dynasty. Nicola Tallis’s new biography dispels the myths about Margaret and shows her life to be more remarkable than the many fictions it has inspired.
Elizabeth of York
A Tudor Queen and Her World
Elizabeth of York held a crucially important place within the English monarchy – as daughter of Edward IV, sister to the Princes in the Tower, niece to Richard III, wife to Henry VII and mother to Henry VIII. Alison Weir explores those relationships, particularly with Richard III, her son Henry and with her mother's family, the Wydevilles; but also investigates the apparent contradiction between Elizabeth's early intriguing in suppport of Henry Tudor and her later role as compliant royal wife. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.