To Free the Romanovs
Royal Kinship and Betrayal in Europe 1917–1919
When Russia erupted in revolution, some members of the imperial family managed to flee abroad, but for the tsar, the tsarina and their children, months of imprisonment ended in brutal death. Why, when they were so closely related to all the ruling houses of Europe, were they not helped to escape? This searching history examines the responses of their royal cousins in Britain, Germany, Norway and Denmark, and asks whether enough was done to save the Romanovs.
Great British Gardeners
From Early Plantsmen to Chelsea Medal Winners
The British have always been a nation of gardeners, and their distinctive creations have been admired and emulated across the globe. This book traces the history of British gardening over 450 years through the stories of 26 key figures, from early plant hunters such as the Tradescants, though the celebrated 18th-century landscape gardeners Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton to 20th-century pioneers such as Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West. A 32-page section of colour plates showcases their achievements.
A History of Britain From Above
Founded in 1919, Aerofilms Ltd married the art of photography to the new technology of powered flight to capture Britain as it had never been seen before: from the air. This volume showcases hundreds of the pioneering firm's aerial photographs, many of them rare or previously unseen, and tells how it survived the Great Depression, helped the war effort at the direct request of Winston Churchill, and charted the reconstruction projects of the 1940s and 1950s.
The Tree that has Nourished, Healed, and Inspired Through the Ages
One of humankind’s oldest companions, the hawthorn tree is embedded in the memory of every culture across the northern hemisphere. This informative book explores the little-recognized political, cultural and natural history of the plant. Its fruits made the first wine, its flowers and thorns played a key role in pagan and Christian symbolism, and for thousands of years it was used to create the impenetrable hedges that have shaped the landscape of Europe.
Women in Medieval England
Arguing that the Normans’ imposition of a feudal system significantly reduced women’s rights and status, Telford uses a range of evidence from legal records to chart the struggles of ordinary women against the hypocritical sexual politics of medieval England. She considers such subjects as the pressure on young women to marry and bear children, the difficulty of legally ending an unhappy marriage, the special challenges faced by widows and the law’s attitudes to prostitution. Foreword by John Ashdown-Hill.
A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II is now the longest-reigning British monarch. Her life has been exhaustively documented, but what of the woman beneath the crown? Who are her friends? How does she feel about the demands of duty? What are her hobbies? Examining her early life, the training she received, and her attitudes to national life, historian Michael Paterson offers a refreshing portrayal of Britain's figurehead.
The Haunted Beauty
Isolated monastic settlements such as Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland; the closed cities of the former USSR; enclaves of elites and ghettoes of minorities; Cold War bunkers; and places remote even today, such as the Berber towns of the Maghreb: with superb colour photographs, Julian Beecroft’s book is a pictorial tour of the world’s least visited places, inaccessible for reasons ranging from military secrecy and political paranoia to the sheer difficulty of getting there.
Great Scottish Lives
Obituaries of Scotland's Finest
From Sir Walter Scott in 1832 to Tam Dalyell in 2017, this selection of ‘Scotland’s finest’ from the obituary columns of The Times includes some of the world’s most notable writers, scientists, soldiers, explorers, philosophers and artists. Here, in over 100 obituaries, figures as diverse as Sir David Livingstone, Robert Louis Stevenson, Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, Sir Matt Busby and Robin Cook are judged by their contemporaries in articles that illustrate the social, cultural and political history of Scotland.
The Birds of Shetland
The most northerly island group in Britain, Shetland is famous for its globally significant populations of breeding seabirds, including such rarities as red-necked phalarope, great snipe and lanceolated warbler. This authoritative, comprehensive guide provides an overview of the climate and ecology of the archipelago, followed by a survey of every species recorded there. With 40 pages of colour photographs and many line drawings throughout the text, it is an essential handbook for any ornithologist with an interest in the islands.
Plague, Fire, Revolution
Samuel Pepys was born in London in 1633 and died there in 1703, having lived through revolution and Restoration, the Dutch raid, notable scientific advances, plague and fire. All of this he recorded in his diary and letters; a National Maritime Museum exhibition brought it to life in 2015. Presenting 158 objects and paintings, and with essays by contributing scholars, this accompanying volume explores Pepys’s career and varied interests while illuminating aspects of 17th-century London life ranging from surgical procedures to Stuart portraiture.
The Shadow Emperor
A Biography of Napoléon III
The French Emperor Napoléon III was a man driven by the desire to surpass his famous uncle, but his reign was marred by scandal and ended in humiliating defeat. Drawing on years of research, this definitive biography reassesses the achievements and failures of a ruler whose political, cultural and economic influence on France was immense, describing how he expanded the French empire, revolutionized banking and finance, developed the railway network, and even oversaw the creation of the first department stores.
Earth is a desert planet. Nearly half its land area is either cold or hot desert, but these areas are rarely seen by residents of the outside world. The documentary photographer Michael Martin has ridden his motorbike across the Sahara and Atacama deserts, and traversed the ice-fields of Greenland and Spitsbergen by dog sledge. This volume charts his travels through more than 400 photographs, gripping reportage, scientifically exact maps and environmental analysis from contributing experts.
The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh
How EH Shepard Illustrated an Icon
Forming one of the earliest author and illustrator partnerships, Milne and Shepard worked closely together in the 1920s to create some of the world’s best-loved children’s characters. This illustrated volume reveals the depth of that partnership, and incorporates many of Shepard’s previously unpublished sketches, letters, photos and even a personal Christmas card. The real inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh is revealed to be Shepard’s son’s teddy bear, Growler, still owned by granddaughter Minette Shepard, who provides the introduction.
The First Railways
Atlas of Early Railways
From the earliest known map that shows a wagon-way in 1637, this atlas uses contemporary cartography, mostly from previously unpublished maps, along with illustrations of trackbeds, locomotives and rolling stock, to trace the technological development of railways in Britain. Beginning with primitive wooden rails used in mines and quarries, the book describes progress up to the first modern, steam-powered railways in the early 19th century, and ends by surveying the transfer of the technology to other countries.
Published in partnership with the National Archives, this collection of previously unpublished documents captures the reality of Operation Overlord on 6th June 1944. After a section of ten historical sources addressing aspects of the Normandy landings such as intelligence reporting, the ship's log of HMS Warspite, and the roles of Navy, Army and Air Force, the book presents all the available divisional, brigade and battalion war diary entries for the Anglo-Canadian formations that spearheaded the invasion.
John the Baptist and the Last Gnostics
The Secret History of the Mandaeans
Amid the dangers of the modern Middle East, adherents of the obscure Mandaean religion still practise weekly river baptisms, following the example of their most important prophet, John the Baptist. Smith investigates the history of the Mandaeans, asking whether their mysterious sect could be the last survival of ancient Gnosticism, as they claim. He also considers their links to other ancient religions, their possible influence on the Knights Templar and their belief that Jesus himself was an apostate Mandaean.
The Travels of Marco Polo
The Illustrated Edition
Written while he was in prison in Genoa in 1298, Marco Polo’s Travels recounts his journey across the vast Mongol empire to the domain of Khubilai Khan, his 16-year sojourn there, and his fantastic adventures on the homeward journey to Venice. The book, one of the first great works of travel literature, is presented here in the Yule-Cordier translation, with an introduction and a wealth of captioned illustrations, including manuscript illuminations, maps and photographs, on vellum-coloured pages.
Principally remembered as the James Bond of the 1970s and 1980s, Roger Moore (1927–2017) made his first film appearances in the 1940s and was hired and fired from a Hollywood contract in the 1950s before making his name in television. This collection of biographical sketches recalls his childhood, wartime experiences and national service, as well as his show-business career, and includes family stories and musings on modern life.
After the Conquest
The Divided Realm 1066–1135
As he lay dying in Rouen in 1087, William the Conqueror bequeathed to his sons Robert, William and Henry the Dukedom of Normandy, the throne of England and £5,000 respectively. Twenty years of violence and treachery were to follow William’s death until the youngest son, ‘the lion of justice’ according to medieval chroniclers, succeeded his brother William Rufus as Henry I. Teresa Cole traces the turbulent history of the three brothers, from their births to the death of Henry in 1135.
A Rich and Curious History of Pirates, Castaways and Madness
Daniel Defoe's famous castaway has been etched into the popular imagination for three centuries – but what of his island? This book identifies the real place – Juan Fernández Island in the South Pacific – and charts its colourful and often violent history. Drawing on voyage journals, maps and illustrations, Andrew Lambert brings to life the voices of visiting sailors, scientists, writers and artists from the early encounters of the 1500s to the naval battles of the First World War.
William Morris & His Palace of Art
Architecture, Interiors and Design at Red House
Designed by William Morris’s friend and collaborator, the architect Philip Webb, in 1860, when they were both young men, Red House became the realization of Morris’s vision of a home unified in its architecture, decoration, furniture and garden. Richly illustrated with reproductions of original artworks and photographs of the house as it is today, this study of the architecture and contents of Red House shows how Morris and his circle of Pre-Raphaelite friends together created his ‘Palace of Art’.
Call The Midwife
A True Story of the East End in the 1950s
The book that sparked the award-winning TV series details Jennifer Worth’s very real experiences as a young midwife based in a convent amid the chaos of post-war London Docklands. Her true-life stories show how tough conditions were in the East End, especially for women, who often lived in slum accommodation – grateful if they had a cold-water tap – with ten or more children to look after.
Used for 40,000 years, and prized for its beauty and versatility, ivory is a material that humans have been prepared to kill for. This comprehensive study begins by looking at conservation, and the range of animals – from mastodon to sperm whale – from which ivory has been derived. The author goes on to examine ivory as a material, describes techniques for identifying and caring for existing ivory pieces, and finally charts its world history, from prehistoric times to the present day.