A Brief Guide to Native American Myths and Legends
The world of Native American mythology is inhabited by such fantastical and capricious characters as the shape-shifting trickster Coyote and the mischievous Blue Jay. The seminal study of these sacred tales was written by the Scottish folklorist Lewis Spence in 1914; this updated edition has a new introductory essay, commentary on Native American culture and stories from tribes not covered by Spence, such as the Inuit.
The Great Moghuls
A Brief History
Bamber Gascoigne's classic book tells of the most fascinating period of Indian history, the 16th and 17th centuries, when the country was ruled by an extraordinarily talented dynasty of emperors. Masters of almost limitless power and incomparable wealth, the 'Great Moghuls', as they were known to European travellers, were passionate about art, science and religion, but also sophisticated administrators who stabilized much of India. First published as The Great Moghuls in 1971.
A Brief History of the Knights Templar
A Brief History of the Warrior Order
The Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon are found in fictional literature from the Middle Ages to Sir Walter Scott and beyond, even appearing in computer games. Nicholson separates the surviving historical evidence from speculative associations with Freemasonry, the Holy Grail and space travel: beginning with the Templars' origins during the Crusades she considers their religious life, their service to Europe's kings and their commercial and economic activities, up to the order's dissolution in 1312.
The Georgian Art of Gambling: Being A Miscellaneous
Collection of Fashionable Card Games and Diverse Pastimes
Claire Cock-Starkey's miscellany of Georgian pastimes – and addictions – covers everything from cards in the drawing room to wagers on cock-fighting and the ruination of gambling-addicted aristocrats.
The Punch Brotherhood
Table Talk and Print Culture in Mid-Victorian London
Based on research among unpublished letters, diaries, minute books and business records, this study of Punch takes the reader inside the most successful and influential of comic magazines and brings to life the table-talk, jokes and gossip of its close-knit community of writers, artists and proprietors. Leary emphasizes the role of this talk in the understanding of 19th century print culture, shedding new light on the careers of Dickens, Thackeray and many other writers and journalists.
Medieval & Renaissance Interiors
In Illuminated Manuscripts
Illuminated manuscripts are an invaluable resource for understanding medieval and early modern life in castles, palaces and ordinary households, both urban and rural. Reproducing 140 little-known illuminations, mostly from the British Library’s collections, this book shows how these miniatures reflect medieval domestic interiors and how they provide information on topics ranging from the security of dwelling places to creature comforts such as heating and lighting, hygiene, beds and bedrooms, and the display of wealth and treasured possessions.
The Curious Map Book
The creation of maps is often a serious business in which accuracy takes precedence over the imagination. Drawing on the British Library collection, this delightful book presents 100 unusual maps in which the equation is reversed and fantasy comes to the fore. Here are nations portrayed as humans or animals – the British bulldog, the ‘Lion of the Low Countries’, the Russian bear; satires on contemporary politics; fictional countries; and maps as board games or jigsaw puzzles.
British Town Maps
The complexity of towns has stretched cartographers' ingenuity throughout history. After discussing the particular challenges of making town maps, including purpose, scale and printing, this richly illustrated volume, the printed companion to the online Catalogue of British Town Maps, surveys the history of urban mappings from the late Middle Ages to around 1900, then looks in turn at the specific uses of town maps, from depicting property ownership to fire insurance and town planning.
Lives in Letters
In chapters devoted to each monarch – Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I – this is a narrative account of the Tudor period, told through 42 letters and documents in the British Library’s collections. From Henry VII and Elizabeth of York’s autograph inscriptions in a prayer book, to a letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland in 1603, each item is illustrated in colour, fully transcribed and accompanied by a commentary setting it in historical context.
Superstition and Science
Mystics, Sceptics, Truth-Seekers and Charlatans
The period between the European Renaissance and Enlightenment brought monumental scientific discoveries about gravity, the structure of the solar system and the circulation of the blood, but these coexisted with an almost universal belief in horoscopes and magic. In this book a Tudor historian explores how the great thinkers of the age responded to the entanglement of superstition and science, and shows how their work contributed to debate about the relationship between belief and knowledge.
A Brief History of the Amazons
Women Warriors in Myth and History
Ancient Greek myth tells of ferocious female warriors called Amazons who lived near the Black Sea and slaughtered their male children. Could the story reflect a real matriarchal society, or perhaps a women-only religious cult? This book follows the author’s quest for the evidence, not only in ancient texts and artistic depictions but also in archaeological discoveries such as the graves of Iron-Age women buried with arrows, swords and armour.
No Milk Today
From doorstep delivery and money collection to amorous liaisons and dog attacks, this nostalgic social history takes an affectionate look at a great British institution, examines the changes that have taken place over the years, and laments the demise of the industry. Rich with stories and reminiscences, the book documents and celebrates the figure who not only delivered milk but also acted as community worker, handyman and family friend.
The World Corrupted: From Slavery to Obesity
How did a commodity that was once the prized monopoly of kings become an essential ingredient of everyday life and then the cause of a global health epidemic? James Walvin traces the history of how the demand for sweetness has been met, from early Mediterranean sugar plantations, to the immense human and environmental cost of the Caribbean plantations and the slave system, the industries that followed, and the dawning awareness of the obesity problem.
The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones and Other Victorian Scandals
Victorian newspaper reports, Old Bailey transcripts and coroners’ inquests offer a catalogue of grisly and often bizarre crimes: husbands murdering their wives, suicidal lovers, and mistresses taking revenge on their rivals in love. Drawing on these archival records, this book identifies three main types of offence: crimes of passion; theatrical crimes such as the fatal stabbing of the actor William Terriss at the door of the Adelphi; and unsolved mysteries.
Enemy to Lifelong Friend
In many ways Winston Churchill and South African statesman Jan Smuts were opposites: one a privileged Englishman with expensive tastes, the other a temperate philosopher of far humbler origins. Yet in matters of state their politics, military judgment and vision of Empire intersected, making possible a friendship which not only endured for almost half a century, but which influenced the outcome of two world wars and the transition from Empire to Commonwealth, as this account of their relationship attests.
A Brief History of the Roman Empire
Stephen Kershaw’s concise and engaging narrative history covers 500 years, from the rise of the Empire with Augustus to the fall of Rome in 476 CE. Presenting the evidence of Roman authors and recent archaeological finds, Kershaw considers not only the big events and emperors' careers but also details of Roman society and everyday life in the Empire.
A Brief History of the Tudor Age
Beginning with the victory of Henry Tudor in 1485 and ending with the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, this is a vivid account of a contradictory age of great cultural achievement and terrible violence. Opulent life at court, voyages of discovery, scholarship and the flowering of English drama are juxtaposed with poverty, the narrow lives of peasants, harsh justice and war. First published as The Tudor Age.
A Brief History Of
A crusade was a military expedition, blessed by the Pope, against the enemies of Christianity; those who set out on these dangerous campaigns had pledged allegiance to the Cross and pinned their hopes on spiritual rewards. From the First Crusade in 1095 to the Spanish Armada against the English in 1588, Hindley tells the story of crusades and crusaders and considers how their ‘just wars’ have shaped relations between Christian and Muslim countries to this day.
A Brief History of
The intricate artwork and vibrant mythology of the Celts make their culture a source of particular fascination, which continues to be fuelled by new archaeological discoveries. This overview of ancient Europe discusses the Celts' mysterious origins, their complex society and their vigorous survival even after conquest by the Romans. Previously published as The Ancient World of the Celts (1998).
A Brief History of 1917
Russia's Year of Revolution
Lenin, Trotsky and Karensky were the ideological driving force behind the Russian Revolution, but were they, as one of Roy Bainton's sources describes them, 'totally evil men'? Or was Lenin, as a Red Army veteran insisted, 'a good man who ran the country on a worker's wages'? Bainton's brief history approaches the revolution from the standpoint of the ordinary mass of Russians, describing both the bravado of the revolutionaries and a people punished repeatedly by circumstance.
A Brief History of
Between the Romans’ departure from Britain and the Norman Conquest, a distinct English identity developed, the legacy of which is still felt today. As Hindley tells the story of Anglo-Saxon England he highlights its cultural glories, such as Beowulf and the Lindisfarne Gospels, and its powerful women, from the war leader Æthelflæd to the abbess Hilda. He also shows how the centralized English bureaucracy helped create Europe’s first true ‘nation’.
The Conquests that Changed the Face of Europe
The history of the Normans began a long time before William the Conqueror arrived in England in 1066. In this absorbing and accessible introduction, Professor Neveux describes the 'extraordinary Norman adventure' that changed the landscape and culture of Europe, from the first Viking raids of the 8th century to the defeat of the Normans in Sicily in the mid 13th century. Translated by Howard Curtis.
A Brief History of Medieval Warfare
The Rise and Fall of English Supremacy at Arms: 1344–1485
For much of the 14th and 15th centuries, England was almost continuously at war with its neighbours, and enjoyed an unprecedented degree of military supremacy. Peter Reid's extensive account is not simply a catalogue of battles, but combines analysis of strategy and weaponry with a dramatic telling of how and why the wars, from Bannockburn to the Wars of the Roses, came about, and how they were fought.
A Brief History of the Age of Steam
The Power that Drove the Industrial Revolution
For over two centuries from its first development in 1710, steam technology was behind a revolution which swept the world. Exploring the contribution of such figures as Stephenson and Brunel, this book traces the development of steam locomotion from the first Mississippi steamboats to the Titanic, and from the first London terminus at Euston to the Trans-Siberian Railway.
A Brief History of Stonehenge
History and Archaeology of the World's Most Enigmatic Stone Circle
Britain's leading expert on stone circles here offers a comprehensive introduction to our most enigmatic ancient site. He explains how the stones were transported and their relationship with the surrounding burial sites; he carefully examines the possible astronomical meanings of the stones' alignment; and also debunks many myths and inaccurate mystical notions. Each successive generation has developed its own reading of the stones; Burl offers the most up-to-date assessment.
A Brief History of the Freemasons
In the popular imagination the Freemasons are often regarded as a sinister secret society practising arcane rituals: Jasper Ridley’s reassessment traces the origins of Freemasonry in the medieval craftsmen's guilds and its spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Dispelling the more lurid misconceptions, Ridley sheds new light on the organization's beliefs, activities and current role in society.
Life in the Middle Ages
A Brief History of
uses a variety of first-hand accounts and anecdotes to show how England was transformed between the age of the Saxon kings from the 10th century and the 15th century Wars of the Roses. Revealing the diversity of medieval society, he explains the effects of the changing feudal system and the emergence of towns and the urban elite.
A Brief History of Henry VIII
Reformer and Tyrant
Described by Derek Wilson as 'a magnificent piece of propaganda', Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII depicts a proud, belligerent and powerful monarch. Wilson argues that a realistic understanding of Henry requires 'the rejection of this forceful icon' and, drawing on a lifetime's work on this period, his study provides a fresh assessment of the king's character and his response to the bewildering changes of the Renaissance and Reformation era.