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 is a history of India during the 16th and 17th centuries, when the country was ruled by an extraordinarily talented dynasty of emperors. With untold wealth and almost limitless power, they were known to European travellers as the 'Great Moghuls'. First published as The Great Moghuls in 1971.
An Adventure History of Paris
Paris is one of the most alluring cities in the world; however well we know it, it never ceases to surprise. Reading this book, which retells its history through the lives of its inhabitants from Balzac to Baudelaire, Sartre to Sarkozy, is like stumbling upon a tiny restaurant frequented by eccentric locals. Robb is both a scholar and an adventurer, and from 250 years of urban history, he weaves a dazzling tapestry of fact and fantasy, memory and myth. Slightly off-mint.
The Age of Elizabeth II
Rocked by Suez and scandal, galvanized by Wilson's 'white heat of technology', tuned into the Beatles and polarized by Thatcher, the reign of Elizabeth II has seen Britain transformed from post-war austerity to the digital age. AN Wilson's ambitious social and cultural history combines broad narrative sweep with telling detail to portray an era in which imperial certainties crumbled before the complex realities of modern multi-cultural society.
A History of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps
From the world's first postage stamp, the 1840 Penny Black, to the First Class stamp 2012, Chris West's selection of 36 stamps – 'some beautiful, some quirky, some baffling, some stained with blood' – are the inspiration for his idiosyncratic and entertaining history of Britain. Among his collection are the 1881 Penny Lilac (33 billion printed); the first decimal set (1971); and a single foreign stamp telling a story of reparations and hyperinflation: a 1923 German 200 mark stamp, overprinted 2 million.
City of Thorns
Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp
Located deep in the north Kenyan desert, far from any other settlement, Dadaab is home to half a million refugees from Somalia and elsewhere. Over four years, Ben Rawlence came to know this sprawling city of mud, wood and plastic shacks. Through the stories of Tawane, a youth leader, Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football, the bright schoolgirl Kheyro, and six others, he shows that its inhabitants should not be reduced to statistics. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Rage for Order
The Middle East in Turmoil, From Tahrir Square to Isis
This compelling book tells the dramatic story of the Arab Spring and its troubled aftermath through the lives of ordinary people, showing how the bright hopes of 2011 descended into civil war, autocracy and fanaticism. A Libyan rebel must decide whether to kill his brother’s murderer; a jihadi discovers that life in the Islamic State is far from paradise; and two young Syrian women’s friendship turns to enmity as their sects go to war.
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
This is a concise narrative history of the 500 years from the rise of the Empire with Augustus to the fall of Rome in 476. Presenting the evidence of Roman authors and recent archaeological finds, Kershaw considers not only the big events and emperors' careers but also the fascinating details of everyday life.
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 Celts
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 The Vikings
The Last Pagans or the First Modern Europeans?
Travelling hundreds of miles to trade and fight, the Vikings were undoubtedly great seafarers. But were they noble heathens or oafish pirates? How much do archaeological discoveries agree with what we read in the sagas? What happened to the Vikings as Christianity spread? This concise study addresses these questions by focusing on the lives of some of the most famous Vikings.
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.