A Mind at Play
The Brilliant Life of Claude Shannon, Inventor of the Information Age
One of the key thinkers of the computer age, Claude Shannon worked as a cryptanalyst during the Second World War and his contributions to digital circuit design and information theory in the 1930s and 1940s made modern computing possible. This biography explores his life, academic achievements and influential personal projects, such as a maze-solving mouse (one of the first experiments in artificial intelligence) and the first design for a chess-playing computer.
Maud Allan and the Myth of the Femme Fatale
In 1918 the dancer Maud Allan brought a libel case against Noel Billing MP for claiming in print that she was a lesbian. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Wendy Buonaventura explores Allan’s controversial career, and examines the way the case embodied early 20th-century attitudes to ‘dangerous’ women, whose independence, freedom from convention, and erotic allure were seen as a threat to the fabric of society, and even a cause of the First World War.
Sir Vivian Fuchs, Sir Edmund Hillary and the Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1953–58
The Trans-Antarctic Expedition was a remarkable collaboration between Commonwealth nations to undertake the first overland crossing of the continent (during which Edmund Hillary led only the third group to reach the South Pole). Using maps, diagrams and photos from private collections, the Royal Geographical Society and the Auckland War Memorial Museum, this book reconstructs the full story of the planning, execution and mechanical complexity of the dangerous journey.
To VE-Day Through German Eyes
The Final Defeat of Nazi Germany
The story of the Nazis’ final defeat in Western Europe is often told from the advancing Allied soldiers’ viewpoint. Jonathan Trigg has centred this book on the accounts of German veterans, whose retreat came with disastrous and brutal consequences. Demonstrating how shambolic and merciless war can be the numerous photographs, some previously unpublished, show revealing details, including helpless German soldiers held captive in Antwerp zoo, and last-minute preparations by Berliner conscripts.
The Good Assassin
Mossad's Hunt for the Butcher of Latvia
Before the Second World War, Herbert Cukurs was a world-famous aviator and a hero in his native Latvia; then he joined the SS and contributed to the genocide of 30,000 Latvian Jews. The Good Assassin uncovers this little-known episode of the Holocaust, before moving forward to the 1960s, when the Israeli secret agent Yaakov Meidad found Cukurs living under an alias in Brazil, and set about bringing him to justice.
Voices of the Scandinavian Waffen-SS
The Final Testament of Hitler's Vikings
Thousands of members of the Waffen-SS were recruited from countries Germany had conquered. This title focuses on Scandinavian volunteers, who were motivated by fascist sympathies, anti-communism and a hatred of Russia, and who fought first at a national level before being united in the Wiking Panzer and Nordland Panzer-grenadier Divisions. Trigg uses first-hand accounts, award citations, photographs and contemporary documents to explore their experiences, including their post-war reception in their homelands.
The Prince Who Beat the Empire
How an Indian Ruler Took on the Might of the East India Company
In 1844 and again in 1853 the Hindustani prince Meer Jafar Ali Khan voyaged to England, to challenge the bosses of the East India Company for their unseemly violation of a treaty, to win back his family’s property and to call for an end to British rule. This account of those events traces the long-forgotten campaign of the man who became one of Victorian England’s best-known figures, won over its political establishment and defeated the world’s most powerful corporation.
Great British Parks
Public parks, created in the rapidly growing towns and cities of the 19th century, are a precious legacy of open spaces, bandstands, boating lakes and meeting places, yet neglect left them in decline by the 1980s and 1990s. Visiting over 50 parks today, this book celebrates 20 years of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Green Flag Award and the contributions of park staff and volunteers whose efforts to protect, maintain and improve public parks have revitalized these invaluable civic amenities. Slightly off-mint.
Warrior and King
King Arthur, long regarded as the leader of oppressed Britons against invading Saxon hordes, emerges from this fresh analysis as a boastful Irish raider who used his battles to carve out a kingdom in western Britain. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Carleton combines evidence from archaeology, literature and the study of place names to reconstruct the career of the 6th-century ruler, who he suggests was a pagan warlord, and to propose a new location for the renowned Battle of Badon.
Nelson at Naples
Revolution and Retribution in 1799
One of the most inglorious events of Nelson’s career concerned the fate of the short-lived republic established in Naples by revolutionary France. Drawing on accounts by Nelson himself, Lady Hamilton and others, this book tells how, after being offered safe passage, the republicans were handed over to the besieging Royalists, from whom they received no mercy. It also investigates whether Nelson was personally guilty of this betrayal, or whether the orders came from London.
The Maligned Tudor King
Terry Breverton takes a fresh approach to Henry VII’s life and reign, following the king’s movements and describing his whereabouts, the people he was with and what he was doing to give a personal account of Henry and Elizabeth’s life. This is a more sympathetic portrait of the king than recent studies have offered, emphasizing Henry’s achievement in restoring peace and prosperity after the Wars of the Roses and securing for his son a peaceful succession and a solvent country.
Henry VIII's Closest Friend
The rapid rise of Charles Brandon to become Henry VIII’s most trusted and influential advisor alarmed his contemporaries and has puzzled historians. Reviewing the scant surviving evidence, this biography provides a chronological account of the career of this elusive figure. He held a succession of powerful offices, despite his controversial marriage to the king’s sister, disappointing military campaigns and suspicion that he spied for the French, and retained Henry’s favour to the last. Off-mint.
Queen Victoria and the Romanovs
Sixty Years of Mutual Distrust
‘Oh, if the queen were a man, she would like to go and give those horrid Russians ... such a beating!’ wrote Victoria; while in Russia, Alexander III described the queen as a ‘pampered, sentimental, selfish old woman’. In this study of the hostility between the British and Russian royal courts, Coryne Hall begins with the disastrous marriage of Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saarfeld, Victoria’s ‘Aunt Julie’, to Grand Duke Constantine in 1795, then traces 60 years of the queen’s fear and distrust of the Romanov dynasty.
The World of Cartimandua
During the first decades of Britain’s occupation by the Romans, Cartimandua was queen of the huge northern territory of the Brigantes. Combining the words of Roman authors with the evidence of hillforts and Celtic arts and artefacts, this reconstruction of her life examines how she cooperated with the invaders to ensure her tribe prospered, why Roman society viewed her as a shameless adulterer and whether she was a more important figure than the better-remembered Boudica.
The Bastard's Sons
Robert, William and Henry of Normandy
As William the Conqueror lay dying in France in 1087, his youngest son, Henry, stayed at his side; the eldest son, Robert Curthose, was in another part of France and unaware of his father’s plight; meanwhile, William Rufus was heading back to England to seize the crown. Beginning with an outline of William I’s life, this is the story of the power struggle between three sons: the crusader who rebelled against his father, and the two who inherited the Conqueror’s throne.
The Codebreaking Outstations, from Eastcote to GCHQ
The codebreaking work at Bletchley Park was supported by an extensive infrastructure of outstations, the largest being at Eastcote, which later became GCHQ. By consulting archival documents, visiting the wartime bases and talking to those with personal knowledge, the author has pieced together the stories of these lesser-known sites. The book also features analysis of the improvements to Alan Turing’s Bombe machine and highlights the vital contribution of the Wrens in operating this equipment.
The Battle Over Oscar Wilde's Legacy
For years after Oscar Wilde’s death his two closest friends and former lovers, Lord Alfred Douglas and Robert Ross, fought for control of his manuscripts, and reputation, and argued over who was to blame for his downfall. Drawing on previously unpublished information, Oscar’s Ghost uncovers a bitter feud that involved stalking, blackmail, lawsuits, witness tampering and prison, and influenced the way we perceive Wilde to this day.
The Strangest, Least Successful and Most Audacious Financial Follies, Plans and Crazes of All Time
This light-hearted look at the financial ideas and policies of economists and politicians down the ages outlines the theories of thinkers and leaders such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx and Margaret Thatcher. Describing various ill-conceived schemes and disasters such as Hugo Chávez’s management of Venezuela, the author is on the side of the free market in his lampooning of economic experts and ideological politicians.
Who Betrayed the Jews?
The Realities of Nazi Persecution in the Holocaust
In The Other Schindlers Agnes Grunwald-Spier wrote of the many unsung individuals who helped the Jews during the Nazi persecution; in this study she uncovers the individuals and groups who betrayed them. Quoting extensively from survivors' accounts, and in sometimes shocking detail, she examines betrayals made for ideology or greed, but also the 'commercial betrayals' by the railway companies who transported Jews and the industries that used forced labour, and the betrayals made in fear and desperation.
From the Mill to Monte Carlo
The Working-Class Englishman who Beat the Monaco Casino and Changed Gambling Forever
Joseph Jagger had worked for many years in the textile trade in Bradford when he made an extraordinarily bold trip to Monte Carlo, armed with borrowed money, a team of accomplices and a scheme to win big on the roulette wheel. This account of his life and historic winning streak describes how he managed to break the bank and walk away with a fortune, worth the modern equivalent of £7.5 million.
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 portrait of a 'complex, passionate, unbreakable woman', the biography also upholds Catherine's unwavering conviction that her 'divorce' was invalid.
Philippa of Hainault
Mother of the English Nation
Despite being arranged for mercenary ends, the marriage of the 15-year-old Edward III and the even younger Philippa of Hainault in 1326 became a successful and long-lived union. Philippa bore twelve children, among them the Black Prince, while managing to travel abroad with Edward on campaign, act as regent during his absences and endear herself to the public. Kathryn Warner’s biography presents a richly detailed study of Edward’s much-loved queen up to and beyond her death in 1369.
The House of Grey
Friends & Foes of Kings
From the time of William the Conqueror, the Greys were one of England’s most powerful families. Beginning in the reign of Henry IV (1399–1413), when the rivalry between Lord Grey of Ruthyn and Owain Glyndwr led to the Welsh uprising, this history follows their fortunes through the Wars of the Roses, in which Greys fought and died on both sides, to their downfall with the execution in 1554 of the ‘Nine Days Queen’, Lady Jane Grey.
A History of The Northmen
The Vikings were integral to the shaping of medieval Europe and the development of nation states; their ships crossed the Atlantic, their traders reached Constantinople and their raiders struck without warning. Combining contemporary historical sources with the evidence of recent archaeological discoveries, this history of the Viking Age focuses on the key events and major characters of the period from the raid on Lindisfarne in 793 to the death of Harald Hardrada in 1066.
The Forgotten French Bid to Conquer England
On at least 50 occasions during the 14th century French invaders landed on British soil, where they razed trading centres and massacred their inhabitants. As he tells the story of these incursions, Cameron corrects the usual interpretation that they were merely ‘pirate raids’ and describes the French plans for full-scale conquest. He also considers the major economic and political damage that was inflicted by the invasion crisis, as well as its lasting effects on English society.
Eleanor of Aquitaine
Queen of France and England, Mother of Empires
Married first to Louis VII of France, then to Henry II of England, and mother to Richard the Lionheart and King John, Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122–1204) became virtual ruler of England after Henry’s death. Over 800 years, Eleanor has accrued layers of myth and historical interpretation; in this new biography, Sara Cockerill has returned to primary sources and recent scholarship to debunk the legends and re-evaluate the Queen’s life, her relationships with her sons and her relationship with the Church.
The World Water Speed Record
The Fast and the Forgotten
The pursuit of the speed record on water has proved more difficult than the land equivalent, with several fatalities resulting from attempts and the current mark of 318 mph lasting for 40 years. Including the exploits of Donald and Malcolm Campbell, this history reviews the progress of the record and the vessels that pushed the boundaries, from the muscular speedboats of the 1920s to jet-powered craft such as Bluebird K7 and the 1978 record-breaker, Spirit of Australia.
The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Lamb, Viscountess Melbourne 1751–1818
Elizabeth Lamb – ‘Lady M’ to her friend Lord Byron – was one of the brightest and most influential political hostesses of late Georgian London. Drawing on diaries, archives and letters, including her extensive correspondence with Byron, this biography reveals how she used her looks, charisma and wealth to climb socially, forging friendships with significant figures including Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, the Whig leader Charles James Fox, the playwright Sheridan and the future George IV, who became her lover. Slightly off-mint.
Pembroke & Around
With sepia-toned 'then' and colour 'now' photographs and notes on the transformations or continuities, this book from the Through Time series presents around 180 pictures showing how Pembroke, with its magnificent castle, and the surrounding Welsh countryside have changed over the last century.
Newport Through Time
From tearoom aspidistras to Macdonald’s hanging baskets ... In around 180 pictures, this book from the Through Time series shows some of the many ways in which Newport has changed over the last century. The sepia-toned 'then' and colour 'now' photographs are accompanied by anecdotes from the town’s history and notes on the transformations or continuities.
My Adventures as a Spy
As a young army officer, the founder of the Boy Scout movement served in military intelligence in Malta. In this book, written in 1915, he describes his adventures, discusses German espionage before and during the First World War, and outlines the basic techniques of spycraft: codes and disguises; how to observe troop movements and evade sentries; and how to conceal secret information in apparently innocent drawings of butterflies and leaves.
Thank God and the Infantry
From D-Day to VE-Day with the First Battalion, The Royal Norfolk Regiment
The delay to D-Day, owing to bad weather, resulted in the men of the 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment spending a rough night at sea, during which most of them were violently sick. Told from the soldiers' point of view and including many first-hand accounts, this description of their progress in the following months includes the assault on Sword Beach and later battles at Caen and in the Netherlands and Germany. Slightly off-mint.
The Setting of the Rising Sun
Japanese Military Aviation 1877–1945
After importing British and European aircraft and designs in the 1910s and 1920s, the Japanese Army and Navy developed their own aviation capability between the wars. This study traces the development of the industry, culminating in the formidable fighters and bombers of the 1940s.
The House of Beaufort
The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown
A dynasty that originated in 1372 with the birth of John Beaufort, the illegitimate son of John of Gaunt, the Beauforts were loyal supporters of the Lancastrian monarchs. They amassed authority during the 15th century and ultimately claimed the English throne with the victory of Lady Margaret Beaufort’s son, Henry Tudor, at Bosworth. The Beaufort earls, duke and cardinals were ‘highly visible in the stories of others’; this study focuses on the rise and fall and rise again of this intriguing family.
Yacht Designer's Notebook
In addition to constructing a vessel capable of coping with sea, wind and weather, the yacht designer must consider how to incorporate plumbing, an engine, storage and other utilities. With hundreds of line drawings and thoughts on design solutions for every part of a sailing boat, this book reveals the ingenuity of marine design and is a useful reference for boat owners and boat builders.
How Leaders and Their Unnecessary Wars Have Wrecked the Modern World
Ranging from Louis XIV’s wars in the 17th century to the recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, this study examines why some rulers resort to excessive force, whether through ambition, bloodlust or bad advice, and its consequences for global stability .
SOE in the Low Countries
British spying successes in France and elsewhere during the Second World War were not replicated in Belgium and Holland, where the Germans had infiltrated the network from 1942 and exploited their advantage by spreading false information. The leading historian of SOE investigates how security was breached, uncovering inter-service rivalries, in-fighting and ineptitude in Whitehall as well as the brave stories of the dozens of captured field operatives.
Preston in the First World War
From the declaration of war as reported in local newspapers to demobilization, David Huggonson gives a well-illustrated account of Preston’s response to the First World War. He describes the recruiting drives, the Preston ‘Pals’ and news of the soldiers at the front, but also looks in detail at other aspects of wartime in this industrial town, particularly the work undertaken by women, food rationing and the ‘Buffet’ providing refreshment for soldiers.
Police Dog Heroes
The first dogs to work with the British Transport Police, at Hull docks in 1907, were trained to protect uniformed police to the extent that they would growl when their handlers wore civilian clothes. Including first-hand accounts, this review of the use of dogs by the force tells over 40 stories of canine heroism, including their actions at major incidents such as the Lockerbie bombing and the 2005 London terror attacks.
The Great Conspiracy
Britain's Secret War Against Revolutionary France 1794–1805
Behind the land battles and naval engagements of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain and France fought another, hidden conflict. Drawing on contemporary letters, journals and police reports, this history describes the political intrigue, secret agents, informers, and state-sponsored murders that were part of the attempt to overthrow the French Republic. Its cast includes the forgotten fathers of British intelligence, William Wickham and Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, and the French general turned British agent, Charles Pichegru.
The Ghosts of Langley
Into the Heart of the CIA
In the 70 years since the CIA was formed, it has become increasingly effective at sidestepping government control and accountability for its actions. Focusing on the activities of key figures in the agency, John Prados examines its history of covert operations, intelligence analysis and technological development and reveals how the culture that developed led to high profile disasters and the current dysfunction between the agency and the White House.
The Romans in Scotland
And the Battle of Mons Graupius
In 83 CE, following a seven-year campaign against Caledonian tribesmen, the Romans fought a final battle at which 10,000 of the enemy died. But recent investigation of marching camps in northern England and Scotland has suggested that Tacitus’ account, our main source for the battle, may not be accurate. Forder triangulates the ancient sources with the archaeological evidence to suggest a new location for the elusive battle site known as Mons Graupius.
Hurricane Manual 1940
Less elegant than the Spitfire, the Hawker Hurricane was nevertheless a highly capable fighter throughout the Second World War, valued for its strength, manoeuvrability and stability when firing. This volume reproduces the advice to pilots and maintenance instructions from the Mk 1 Manual, issued in March 1939, with additional sections giving an insight into the Hurricane in action with excerpts from a squadron Operational Record Book and reproductions of official combat reports.
The People's History of Native Americans
Discovered after the death of the distinguished American historian Page Smith (1917–1995), and published posthumously, this volume was intended as the final part of Smith's People's History of America. The narrative traces the Native American story from the first encounter with Europeans to the end of the Indian Wars at Wounded Knee in 1890, but rather than a comprehensive history, Smith aims to explore the nature of the interchange between white settlers and the indigenous peoples of North America.
A Drink for the Devil
After petroleum, coffee is the most traded commodity in the world, with over 7 million tonnes produced annually. By 2015, when this book was written, Britain had more than 20,000 coffee shops, and the sector was still growing. This book records the history of what a pope called ‘the Devil’s drink’, the rise of the coffee house in 18th-century Europe and the global industry today.
Living the Cold War
Memoirs of a British Diplomat
The former British Ambassador in Germany and France, Sir Christopher Mallaby began his diplomatic career in the USSR; and in 1962 he was in Moscow during the Cuban missile crisis. It was the first of several crucial moments in world history which Sir Christopher witnessed – including the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the Falklands War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany – and his memoirs offer an insider’s view of international diplomacy and the diplomatic world.
King Cnut and the Viking Conquest of England 1016
While referred to as 'the Great' in Denmark, Cnut (?995–1035) is mostly remembered in Britain for his legendary attempt to turn back the sea. Bartlett sets out to give this much-neglected king of England and his forgotten conquest their proper place in history. Beginning with the earlier Viking incursions, Bartlett tells the story of the protracted 'time of terror' and the epic conflict between Cnut and Edmund Ironside that culminated in the Danish warrior's victory at Assandun in 1016.
A Life of Contradiction
In addition to giving an account of Dostoyevsky’s eventful life, this biography studies his main novels and stories, and demonstrates their lasting accessibility and relevance. Judith Gunn describes the writer's struggles with deadlines, debt, epilepsy, gambling and imprisonment; examines the ways in which his themes and characters have been reinterpreted in television shows including Columbo and The X-Files; and explores the strong and enduring connection between his work and modern media.
The Scandalous Life of Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey 1753–1821
One of the great beauties of Georgian society, Frances Villiers was clever, witty, charming – and vilified for her affairs, including one with the Prince Regent that enraged the country and threatened the monarchy. Through the letters of those who knew her, this first-ever biography pieces together the truth about her scandalous adventures, and dispels many of the myths that have surrounded her, to produce an intimate portrait of a life lived in defiance of convention.
SS Great Britain
Brunel's Ship, Her Voyages, Passengers and Crew
Brunel's initial designs for a sister steamship for the Great Western called for a wooden hull and paddle wheel propulsion, but his switch to a screw propeller and iron construction made the new ship a world first. This biography of the vessel looks beyond the innovation of its design and short-lived transatlantic service to its long career sailing between Liverpool and Australia, later cargo duties and eventual scuttling in the Falkland Islands, before salvage and restoration in the 1970s.
Lovell our Dogge
The Life of Viscount Lovell, Closest Friend to Richard III and Failed Regicide
Boyhood friend of Richard III and one of the wealthiest barons in England, Francis Lovell remained loyal to the Yorkist cause even after his king’s death at Bosworth. Drawing on primary sources, this history offers a portrait of the man his enemies called Richard’s ‘dogge’, uncovers his role in the attempted assassination of Henry VII and Lambert Simnel’s rebellion, and unravels the mystery of his disappearance after the Battle of Stoke Field in 1487.
The Flower of All Cities
The History of London from Earliest Times to the Great Fire
In 1501, when William Dunbar described it as ‘the flower of Cities all’, London was already a significant capital city, a great port and a hub of culture and commerce. In 1666, the Great Fire destroyed almost all of the old walled city and environs. Drawing on archaeological, written and pictorial records, Wynn Jones traces London’s history from Ancient Britons, through Roman, Saxon, medieval, Tudor and Stuart times, to the aftermath of the Fire. The book concludes with four walks for rediscovering the pre-1666 city.
The Darkest Days of Medieval England
Before dying without a male heir in 1135, Henry I named his daughter Matilda, widow of the Holy Roman Emperor, as his successor. Upon Henry’s death, his nephew Stephen seized the throne, igniting an 18-year civil war. Combining eyewitness accounts with modern analysis, this history describes the period that became known as the Anarchy, in which there were battles across the country, large areas became ungovernable, and those who experienced it declared that ‘Christ and his saints slept’.
Operation Lena and Hitler's Plots to Blow Up Britain
During the Second World War, there were numerous German plots to sabotage British infrastructure, many of them using saboteurs and agents provocateurs enlisted from the ranks of the IRA, Welsh and Scottish extremists and foreign nationals. Starting with the IRA’s ‘S-Plan’, Bernard O’Connor gives detailed accounts of the successes and failures of the Nazis’ collaborative operations on the British mainland and describes how MI5 used code-breakers and double agents, notably ZIGZAG, in a widespread counter-sabotage programme.
Margaret of York
The Diabolical Duchess
Reared in a dangerous world, Margaret of York was one of history’s great survivors. This biography tells how, from her Burgundian exile, she sought to avenge the overthrow of the House of York by sending pretenders to contest the throne of Henry Tudor. Slightly off-mint.
Fact and Fiction
The intelligent, politically astute Cleopatra captivated both Caesar and Antony, two of the most powerful Romans of her age, and continues to fascinate us today. Watterson describes the events of the Egyptian queen’s life, examines how she came to symbolize the danger of female influence to Rome’s safety and traces the development of the Cleopatra legend in art and in drama for stage and screen. The book’s appendices present extensive excerpts from ancient sources.
Anna, Duchess of Cleves
The King's 'Beloved Sister'
Born Anna von der Mark, Duchess of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, in 1515, Anna of Cleves married Henry VIII and became Queen Consort of England in 1540. British history remembers her as the ‘Flanders Mare’: looking from a German perspective, this biography reveals a very different figure. Heather Darsie describes Anna’s life in Cleves before leaving for England; examines her marriage to Henry, her role as stepmother to his two daughters, and her status as ‘political refugee’ after the divorce.
The Wild East
Gunfights, Massacres and Race Riots Far from the American Frontier
A civil war, the end of slavery and mass immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century caused far-reaching social unrest in America, with race riots, gang violence and organized crime in the eastern cities to rival and exceed the lawlessness of the wild frontier. This study analyses a number of flashpoints including pitched street battles between rival immigrant gangs, the activities of the early mafia and industrial disputes such as the Blair Mountain coal miners' uprising.
School of Aces
The RAF Training School that Won the Battle of Britain
RAF Sutton Bridge was the site of an important training centre in the Second World War, turning out nearly 500 Hurricane fighter pilots, many of whom flew in the Battle of Britain. This review of the station's activities reveals the genesis and development of the highly effective training programme and examines the Central Gunnery School, which was established in 1942 to instruct air gunners from Bomber Command, as well as fighter pilots.
The Man Who Conquered Europe
The identity of the fabled King Arthur has puzzled historians for centuries, but has never been established beyond the supposition that he was a British warrior who held the Saxons at bay in the 6th century. This study considers the available sources to identify who he may have been, and explains one aspect of the legend that has eluded previous historians – the story of Arthur’s successful campaign against the Roman Empire in mainland Europe.
Joanna of Flanders
Heroine and Exile
Joanna of Flanders, Countess de Montfort and Duchess of Brittany, was a formidable figure, leading her troops to rout the French at Hellebont in 1342. The following year however, after accompanying her ally Edward III to England, she vanished from public life. This biography draws on new research to reveal how her subsequent imprisonment in Yorkshire was the result not, as previously claimed, of mental illness, but of Edward’s determination to keep control of Brittany for himself.
Everyday Life on a Roman Frontier
Beginning with a survey of the period 55 BCE to 122 CE and the decades of Roman government in Britain before the wall was begun, Patricia Southern, a renowned authority on ancient Roman history, gives a closely detailed account of Hadrian himself, how his wall was built and manned by Roman soldiers, what life was like on this northernmost outpost of the Empire, the building of the Antonine Wall, and what happened to Hadrian’s Wall when the Romans left.
Edward the Elder
King of the Anglo-Saxons Forgotten Son of Alfred
‘A remarkable and successful king of the Anglo-Saxons’, but overshadowed by the illustrious reputation of his father, Alfred the Great, Edward the Elder reigned between 899 and 924 and was pivotal in the transformation of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms into a recognizable, unified English nation state which his son Æthelstan developed further. Drawing on tenth-century sources, Michael John Key gives an assessment of the reign and, as far as possible, an account of Edward’s early life and kingship in Anglo-Saxon Wessex.
The Ships of Ellis Island
The manifests of Ellis Island record a total of 818 ships bringing new citizens to America between 1892, when the facility was opened, and 1924, when immigration quotas were much reduced. Through contemporary photographs and promotional posters, this book profiles 100 of the most interesting, from large and famous liners such as the Lusitania and the Olympic to the many more modest vessels that offered the life-changing transatlantic voyage from ports all over Europe.
The Final Roundup
Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant was a Somerset-born Australian bushman, drover and versifier, best known for the revenge killings he inflicted on prisoners of war when serving with the British Bushveldt Carbineers regiment during the Boer War. Morant was court martialled and executed for his crimes – wrongly, many have claimed – yet this fastidiously researched biography argues that, despite the romance surrounding Morant and his chaotic lifestyle, his actions in South Africa were ‘judged in proper and orthodox fashion’.
The Story of the War from the Battlefront, 1939–45
Following a tradition dating back to 1545, naval commanders would write an official despatch to the Admiralty to explain their actions during significant naval operations. This collection of despatches, published in association with the National Archives, covers events which impacted hugely on the Second World War, including the convoys in the Mediterranean and Russia, amphibious operations such as Dieppe, the evacuation of Crete, and the assault phase of the Normandy landings.
Three Extraordinary Women: Ida Nettleship, Sophie Brzeska and Fernande Olivier
This book explores the lives and achievements of three unconventional, creative women, and the sacrifices they made for the artists they loved. Fernande Olivier (1881–1966) was Picasso’s first love and muse; Sophie Brzeska (1873–1925) lived with the sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 19 years her junior, until he was killed in the First World War; and Ida Nettleship (1877–1907) bore five children to Augustus John while living in a ménage à trois with him and his mistress.
Silk and the Sword
The Women of the Norman Conquest
Sharon Bennett Connolly offers a new approach to the male-dominated history of 1066 and its cataclysmic events. She draws on the chronicles of those times to reconstruct the lives of the women who played significant roles in the years that led up to the Conquest and in its aftermath: among them, Emma of Normandy, queen of both Aethelred II and Cnut; Edward the Confessor’s queen, Edith of Wessex; William the Conqueror’s Matilda; and Margaret, the sainted Queen of Scotland.
Plantagenet Queens and Consorts
Family, Duty and Power
The Plantagenet dynasty ruled medieval England during a period of immense socio-political change when the role of queen consorts was redefined. Indeed, as this book reveals, royal women played a significant role in the maintenance of the Plantagenets’ political power. Corvi focuses on ten influential figures from the period 1236–1485, such as the ‘She-Wolf’ Isabella of France, who deposed her husband Edward II, and Margaret of Anjou, who was often in control of government during Henry VI’s bouts of madness.
The Count of Scotland Yard
The Controversial Life and Cases of DCS Herbert Hannam
DCS Herbert Hannam was one of the most compelling characters in Scotland Yard and the CID during the post-war period; in this biography of Hannam, Wade describes some of the sensational crimes he investigated in the mid 1950s and the unsolved murder of Emily Pye.
A New History of the Bubonic Plagues of London
From its onset in the 6th century AD, bubonic plague has excited fear and revulsion like no other disease, so hideous are its symptoms and so small the chance of survival. Crowded, insanitary London was badly hit in 1347 and 1665, and plague pits are still being uncovered, for example during Crossrail construction works. This readable history combines documentary sources with the latest scientific evidence to convey the full horror of the plague and the conditions in which it thrived.
How a Group of Scottish Conspirators Unleashed Half a Century of War in Britain
Fife in the 1630s was a hotbed of rebel priests, fire-breathing politicians and unemployed mercenaries, many connected through family. This innovative history shows how a combustible mixture of Covenanters, Catholics, Gibbites, Malignants and a host of other sects ignited not only Scotland’s wars of religion but conflict in Ireland and the English Civil War, resulting in more than 600,000 deaths. The book concludes with a gazetteer of the buildings, ruins, monuments and battlefields of Scottish wars from 1639 to 1689.
The Mythology of the 'Princes in the Tower'
Were the sons of Edward IV – the boy king Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York – genuinely held against their will in the Tower of London; and were they murdered there? Bones found in the Tower were interred in Westminster Abbey in 1674, and their burial urn was opened in 1933. Now, drawing on genetic science, John Ashdown-Hill re-examines the case of the two princes, questioning the orthodox view and stripping away the myths that surround their fate.
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.
Into the Abyss
The Story of the First World War, Volume One
Volume one of this authoritative account of the First World War covers 1914 and 1915, examining the machinations of the belligerent parties, from the Habsburgs and the Serbs to the Hohenzollerns and the Ottoman Turks, in the 34 days leading up to outbreak. Each chapter presents extensive background information on people, places and events, including the French and British military commanders, pre-war London and Paris, the war at sea, and the technology that assured both deadlock and mutual destruction.
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.
The Seymours of Wolf Hall
A Tudor Family Story
Originating in France, the Seymour family accompanied William the Conqueror to England and served the crown for generations; but came to prominence in the Tudor era. Jane was Henry VIII's third queen and mother to Edward VI, and her brothers Edward and Thomas rose to high office, only to end their lives at the executioner's block. The two brothers are the main focus in Loades's study of the rise and fall of the family and their ancestral home at Wolfhall, Wiltshire. Slightly off-mint.
The Second Anglo-Sikh War
This follow-up to The First Anglo-Sikh War chronicles the the fall of the Sikh Empire and the annexation of the Punjab by the British East India Company, a victory that would provide the British Army with a reliable source of soldiers for a century. Singh’s compelling narrative, supported by transcripts of significant treaties and proclamations, places the many sieges and battles, from Multan and Chillianwala to the decisive Gujrat, in the context of a fast-changing political and military landscape.